NEED: assessment of the unmet needs of patients and society - The assessment framework

KCE REPORT 377C1 (2024)

Thanks to the tremendous medical and scientific progress made in recent decades, a growing number of health issues can now be treated more effectively than ever. However, many needs remain not or insufficiently met by the current offer of products and services. To better target the areas which should be prioritised for research on solutions to address unmet needs, the first necessary step is to identify and assess these unmet needs.

Which diseases remain underserved? What do people living with these conditions need most and foremost? What is the societal burden of a given health problem?

These are the crucial questions addressed by NEED, a large-scale project run by the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE) and the Belgian institute for public health Sciensano, in collaboration with several other Belgian public institutions. In this new study, the research team presents a scientific framework for assessing unmet patient and societal needs, which should ultimately allow all healthcare and healthcare innovation stakeholders to better take them into account when making decisions or setting priorities.

Links to the reports:

Links to other related NEED reports:

About NEED

NEED is financially supported by the Belgian Federal Science Policy (BELSPO) through the INFRA-FED call.

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Project coordinators

dr. Irina Cleemput


prof. dr. Robby De Pauw

Sciensano, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Service Health Information