Access to information on new and emerging health technologies, treatments and services allows healthcare decision makers to anticipate, prepare and better address existing and emerging health challenges. ISCRR's innovative Horizon Scanning program provides this information, by drawing a picture of the emerging health and disability landscape.

Sitting within ISCRR's Strategic Scanning and Intelligence Team, the Horizon Scanning program delivers publications that summarise emerging issues, technologies and opportunities within the health and disability landscape. The health technologies of interest include drugs,medical devices, medical or surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, services, programs and models of care.

These new or emerging technologies are anticipated to have a significant impact on client independence, recovery, safety, function, ability to return to work and/or quality of life and are identified to be between one to three years from entering the Australia market.

The Horizon Scanning program was developed in 2014, in partnership with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH). This program is the first of its kind in Australia to focus on compensation health, and has drawn attention internationally.

Horizon Scanning publications

Newsletters

Each newsletter provides an overview of up to ten new or emerging technologies, treatments and services with potential to improve TAC and WorkSafe client outcomes.

Newsletter No. 6 (Jan 2018)
Uro-Vaxom® for urinary tract infection in individuals with spinal cord injury • ComfierTM sleep system • A new model of care to meet the lifetime needs of individuals following spinal cord injury • DenerveX® system to treat back pain associated with spinal osteoarthritis • Prosthetic hand that allows the wearer to reach for objects automatically • A new test to guide choice of antidepressant • CommCope-I for traumatic brain injury • Outpatient hip replacement

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Newsletter No. 5 (Jul 2017)
Psychoeducational intervention for back pain • Immunoglobulin therapy for spinal cord injury • Ronopterin for prevention of secondary injury in traumatic brain injury • Emego for people with severe disabilities • Aurix therapy for pressure ulcers • Model of care for musculoskeletal pain and depression • DermaTherapy for pressure ulcer prevention • UrgoStart dressing for chronic wounds • Online training for chronic knee pain

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Newsletter No. 4 (Dec 2016)
Ultrasound for severe brain injury • Spinal cord stimulation following spinal cord injury • Neural bypass system to restore movement following quadriplegia • UPnRIDE mobility device • Biological scaffolds for muscle loss after musculoskeletal injuries • iBOT two-wheel wheelchair • Riluzole for acute spinal cord injury • StimQ and SPRINT peripheral nerve stimulation systems for pain relief

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Newsletter No. 3 (Jul 2016)
AST-OPC1 for acute spinal cord injury • Indego exoskeleton • Hyaluronic acid for neuropathic pain • Keeogo walking device • Telehealth for PTSD • Treatment of spinal cord injury with surgical implant • Granulox spray for chronic wounds • Model of care for low back pain • Neuro-spinal scaffold for acute spinal cord injury • Pathway of care for whiplash injury

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Newsletter No. 2 (Dec 2014)
Nerve stimulation for chronic pain • NKTR-181 μ-opioid agonist • Technology for people with cognitive impairments • Musculoskeletal disease management • Return to work with brain injury • Ankle-replacement implant • Mild brain injury and cognitive function • Brain activity associated with concussion • Protein that may increase autoimmune response after brain injury • Cloud-based speech therapy

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Newsletter No. 1 (Sep 2014)
3D printing prosthetics • ReWalk & Ekso exoskeletons • Mind-controlled prosthetic arm • Keyless keyboard and mouse • FES for respiratory function after spinal cord injury • Vacuum suspension prosthetic foot • Epidural stimulation for paraplegia • Dexmecamylamine for overactive bladder • Donated tissue for wound healing

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Briefs & bulletins

More detailed descriptions of new or emerging technologies that are identified to have specific relevance to the TAC and WorkSafe.

Emerging technologies for pain management
This brief provides an overview of recent developments in interventions that aim to improve outcomes for people with persistent pain. There are four main approaches to managing persistent pain: medications, physical therapy, nerve stimulation or surgical procedures, and pain management programs.

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Models of care for the management of persistent musculoskeletal pain and/or depression
The best outcomes for people with persistent and disabling musculoskeletal pain are achieved when a multidisciplinary team employs a multimodal management approach that includes physical activity, patient education, behavioural interventions and self-management support.

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Spinal cord stimulation to improve function following spinal cord injury
Neurostimulation is a new strategy that is currently under investigation in the management of spinal cord injury. Neurostimulation is the process of using gentle electrical currents to stimulate the nervous system. Research has given hope that neurostimulation applied to the injured spinal cord can improve function.

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StimQ peripheral nerve stimulator system for the relief of severe difficult to manage persistent pain
The StimQ System is an implantable peripheral nerve stimulation system developed by Stimwave Technologies to provide therapeutic relief for persistent pain of peripheral nerve origin. The system can be used alone or in combination with other therapies as part of a multimodal approach.

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Powered lower limb exoskeletons for spinal cord injury
The primary limitation of wheelchair use reported by users is the inability to walk or climb stairs. Wearable powered exoskeletons have the potential to overcome this limitation by providing greater mobility and freedom to individuals with paraplegia from spinal cord injury.

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Model of care for prevention and integrated management of pressure injuries in people with spinal cord injury and spina bifida
The Model of Care describes an integrated approach to the care of patients with spinal cord injuries with the aim of improving pressure injury outcomes, and of limiting their psychosocial and economic impact. Three key principles are identified: self-management, access to equitable and timely services, and integrated care.

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Smart-e-Pants for the prevention of pressure injuries in the spinal cord injury population
Scientists at the University of Alberta in Canada have developed underwear that electrically stimulates the skin and is designed to fit into existing care routines. The underwear is intended to prevent the development of pressure injuries of the ischial tuberosity and sacrum. The underwear is fitted with electrodes that generate tiny pulses of intermittent electrical stimulation.

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Indwelling catheters with Bactiguard silver alloy coating to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections in patients with spinal cord injury
The antimicrobial properties of the Bactiguard silver alloy coating are intended to prevent the adhesion of bacteria to the inner surface of a catheter and thus preclude the formation of colonies of bacteria that can result in a catheter-associated urinary tract infection.

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More information?

For more information about Horizon Scanning or to let us know about a new health technology, treatment or service you think will have an impact on people injured on the roads or at work, email us at: iscrr.horizon.scanning@monash.edu.

You can also subscribe to receive email updates when new Horizon Scanning titles are released.