NEED - Needs Examination, Evaluation and Dissemination

Last updated on 5-3-2024 by Rani Claerman
Project duration:
April 1, 2023
December 31, 2026

In short

The NEED project aims to identify unmet patient and societal needs to inform and support the development of a more needs-driven healthcare policy and innovation. There is currently no research structure in place to develop, organize and/or coordinate this scientific activity. Through this research, we hope to contribute to improving the health status and quality of life of European patients by raising awareness among various stakeholders – health professionals, policy makers, health insurance companies, hospitals, researchers and the industry – of the needs that currently remain unmet.

Project description

The identification of unmet health-related needs is crucial for the development of a needs-based healthcare policy and innovation. Meeting unmet needs is a common objective of many stakeholders in the health system. Although there is no single definition of unmet health-related needs, there is a consensus that these can be approached both from the perspective of the individual patient and from the societal perspective. In the NEED project, health-related needs are defined as the specific needs related to a particular health condition, which encompasses the needs of individuals affected by the condition and possible broader societal needs that result from the impact of the condition on segments of society not directly afflicted by the condition (e.g. transmissibility, impact on informal caregivers, environmental impact). 

The overall aim of NEED is to develop an independent research infrastructure that collects evidence on unmet health-related needs, from both the societal and patients’ perspective, and stores it in a database that can be used by all relevant stakeholders. Therefore, we’ll:

  • define the NEED database structure, including the criteria to assess patient and societal needs, the type of evidence that has to be collected for each criterion, the possible evidence sources and their related quality.
  • start filling the NEED database, by collecting evidence on patient and societal needs related to health issues with potential high unmet needs.
  • disseminate the information of NEED to all relevant stakeholders, both nationally and internationally, ensuring data protection (especially for rare diseases) and secure secondary use of data.

The project’s ultimate goal is that all policy decisions on the development, provision and reimbursement of a health intervention should take into account the unmet needs of patients and society, so that resources are allocated preferentially to the areas of greatest need.

Visit the European NEED project website

Sciensano's project investigator(s):

Service(s) working on this project


Associated Health Topics

QR code

QR code for this page URL