Innovations in healthcare are discussed controversially, with high uncertainty about costs and outcomes. In part because of methodological constraints, health technology assessment (HTA) to date mainly restricts itself to treatments that are already marketed. Regarding emerging healthcare technologies, the assessment criteria commonly used do not support the many decisions that need to be made in earlier phases of the development process by the different stakeholder groups (e.g. researchers, industry, healthcare professionals, patients, health insurers, policy-makers). Therefore, advances in treatments or technologies are often not sufficiently utilized.