Emerging Topics: Reports and Horizon Scans

The PCORI Health Care Horizon Scanning System (HCHSS) provides PCORI and relevant stakeholders with a systematic process to identify and monitor technologies and innovations in health care that are in PCORI’s priority areas of interest and to create an inventory of interventions that have the highest potential for disruption to the current standard of care in terms of patient outcomes, health disparities, care delivery, infrastructure, access, and/or costs.

Horizon Scanning Database


PCORI Horizon Scanning Database All Focus Ares Promotional Graphic

PCORI’s Horizon Scanning Database offers healthcare decision makers findings about advancements in six key areas of interest: Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, COVID-19, mental and behavioral health, and rare diseases. This database can be used by patients, care partners, and others to track advancements in care options

View the Database

Horizon Scanning Reports

Status Reports

The quarterly Status Reports summarize key data elements for all topics currently monitored in the HCHSS and, if applicable, topics archived since the last Status Report. The first nine reports (for March 2019 through March 2021) were organized into six sections: Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases, Mental and Behavioral Health, Rare Diseases, and Potentially Disruptive Trends. In the June 2021 Status Report, a seventh section—for COVID-19-related topics and trends—was added.

March 2021 | December 2020 | September 2020 | June 2020 | March 2020 | December 2019 | September 2019 | June 2019 | March 2019 | June 2021

Please note that publishing of the status reports stopped after June 2021 and they are now being added/updated in the Horizon Scanning Database

High Potential Disruption Reports

Individuals with vested interests in new technologies, services, and innovations typically provide critical insights and information about the areas in which they have a vested interest. Their perspectives may include their vision and plans for how they intend to carry out adoption of a technology, service, or innovation. Twice a year, analysts review all topics for which stakeholder comments have been received in the previous 15 months.

May 2022 | November 2021 | May 2021 | November 2020 | May 2020 | November 2019 | May 2019

Protocol and Operations Manual

This document outlines the basic protocol and decision processes used to scan for leads, select interventions and trends for monitoring, and identify interventions in each priority area and trends across all clinical areas with high potential to cause disruption to health care in the United States.

Protocol and Operations Manual

Journal Articles

Patient and Caregiver Engagement in the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Health Care Horizon Scanning System (HCHSS) Process
Tipton K, De Lurio J, Erinoff E, Hulshizer R, Robertson D, Beales D, Carlson D, Cuevas C, DeHaan E, Druga A, Lynch M, Mehta M, Middleton M, Wilkinson B, Schoelles K.

Horizon Scanning COVID-19 Supplement

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created a fast-moving, widespread public health crisis. In May 2020, PCORI expanded its Health Care Horizon Scanning System (HCHSS) to elucidate the landscape of potentially impactful applications for COVID-19. The HCHSS COVID-19 supplement scans for, identifies, monitors, and reports on emerging and available COVID-19-related treatments, diagnostics, preventive measures, management strategies, and systems changes with potential for high impact to patient outcomes—for individuals and populations—in the United States in the next 12 months. The Supplement produces three main outputs: Biweekly COVID-19 Scans, Status Reports that are published quarterly, and High Impact Reports that are published every four months. Learn more below.

Biweekly COVID-19 Scans

The biweekly scans provide ECRI Horizon Scanning with a vehicle to inform PCORI and the public in a timely manner of important topics of interest identified during ongoing scanning and topic identification or through the ECRI stakeholder survey process.

View Biweekly COVID-19 Scans

COVID-19 Supplement Status Reports

The status reports summarize key data elements for all COVID-19 topics monitored in the HCHSS and, if applicable, recently archived topics. Each report is organized into six sections: devices, identifiable risk factors and prognostic indicators, screening and diagnostics, systems and management, treatments, and vaccines and prophylaxis.

March 2021 | January 2021 | October 2020 | July 2020

Please note that beginning in June 2021, COVID-19-related topics were merged into a single report under the Horizon Scanning Status Reports, above.

COVID-19 Supplement High Impact Reports

The high impact reports highlight topics that stakeholders (including physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, public health professionals, first responders, health systems experts) have identified as having potential for high impact relative to COVID-19 in the United States. The reports are published every four months.

April 2021 | January 2021 | September 2020

COVID-19 Supplement Protocol and Operations Manual

This document supplements the PCORI HCHSS Protocol and Operations Manual by describing the horizon scanning process related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Supplement Protocol and Operations Manual

The PCORI Health Care Horizon Scanning System is operated by ECRI under contract to PCORI, Washington, DC (Contract No. MSA-HORIZSCAN-ECRI-ENG-2018.7.12). The content included in this document does not necessarily represent the views of the PCORI. PCORI does not make any guarantees with respect to the accuracy or reliability of the information in this content, nor does PCORI necessarily endorse the content or results contained therein.

Posted: June 11, 2019; Updated: August 10, 2022

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