Appendix A: Glossary

Appendix A: Glossary

Assessment report
A report produced by 1 of NICE's independent external assessment centres that reviews the sponsor's evidence submission and may include additional analysis of the submitted evidence or new clinical and/or economic evidence.

Case for adoption
The clinical and cost benefits that would be realised if the technology were used in place of the best available alternative.

Clinical utility
The clinical usefulness of a technology. For example, the clinical utility of a diagnostic test is its capacity to rule a diagnosis in or out, and to help make a decision about adopting or rejecting a therapeutic intervention.

The standard intervention against which the technology under evaluation is compared. The comparator is usually a similar or equivalent technology used as part of current management. For the purposes of modelling, the comparator can be 'no intervention'.

A person or organisation that submits a comment during consultation.

Cost analysis
A comparative evaluation of the costs and resource use consequences of 2 or more interventions.

Cost-consequence analysis
A comparative evaluation of the costs and resource use consequences of 2 or more interventions considered alongside the relevant clinical benefits.

Decision problem
The decision problem describes the proposed approach to be taken in the sponsor's submission of evidence to answer the question in the scope. This includes the population, intervention, comparator(s), outcomes, cost analysis, subgroup analysis and any special considerations.

Diagnostic technology
A medical technology with a diagnostic purpose. Diagnostic technologies are a subset of medical technologies.

Costs and benefits incurred today are usually valued more highly than costs and benefits occurring in the future. Discounting reflects society's preference for when costs and benefits are to be experienced.

The extent to which an intervention is active when studied under controlled research conditions.

An assumption that 2 or more technologies result in the same clinical (efficacy and safety) outcomes.

Evidence synthesis (meta-analysis)
A statistical technique for combining (pooling) the results of a number of studies that address the same question and report on the same outcomes to produce a more precise summary estimate of the effect on a particular outcome.

Expert adviser
A person nominated or ratified by their professional body to advise the committee and/or topic oversight group about medical technologies about which they have specific knowledge or expertise. Expert advisers may be healthcare professionals with knowledge of using the technology in practice, or medical scientists with technical knowledge.

Guidance executive
A team comprising the executive directors and centre directors at NICE who are responsible for approving the final guidance before publication.

In confidence
Information (for example the findings of a research project) submitted to the programme that is not in the public domain. 'Commercial-in-confidence' information is defined as confidential because its disclosure could affect the commercial interests of a particular company. 'Academic-in-confidence' information is waiting to be published, and it is confidential because its disclosure could affect the academic interests of a research or professional organisation.

Medical technologies guidance
Guidance produced by the medical technologies advisory committee on technologies that are routed to it for evaluation.

Medical technology
A medical device or diagnostic technologyas defined in section 1 of this guide.

Used to synthesise evidence to generate estimates of clinical and cost outcomes.

The process by which a sponsor (usually the company which owns the medical technology) informs NICE about a potential technology for evaluation.

Patient and carer organisations
Organisations of patients, carers, communities and other lay members, including those that represent people from groups protected by equalities legislation.

An organisation or system that facilitates and/or undertakes the collection and collation of patient data about specific disease and/or treatment outcomes, and supports and/or facilitates the quality assurance and analysis of these data.

Resource consequence
A resource use consequence that is not directly from the technology but occurs because of it.

The decision taken by the topic oversight group about which NICE programme or external organisation should evaluate a selected technology.

The company, developer, distributor or agent of the technology being considered for evaluation. The sponsor can also be a clinician, medical organisation or another NICE programme or national health body or organisation.

System outcome
A non-clinical outcome, typically impacting on resource capacity, resulting from a clinical (patient-level) treatment episode.

Topic briefing
An overview of a single technology produced by the programme team. The topic oversight group uses the topic briefing when deciding whether to select that technology for evaluation.

Topic oversight group
The team which selects and routes medical technologies for guidance development.

Uncertainty analysis
Investigates the sensitivity of analysis results to variation in assumptions and parameters.

Value of information
Assesses the value associated with perfect information that can be obtained in future research about different parameters in the evaluation.