Technology is generally defined as "science or knowledge applied to a definite purpose." Technology assessment has been defined as a form of policy research that examines short- and long-term consequences (for example, societal, economic, ethical, legal) of the application of technology. The goal of technology assessment was said to be to provide policy makers with information on policy alternatives. Health technology assessment (HTA) grew out of this field and was developed in the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). However, the OTA was closed in 1995. The links between technology assessment and health technology assessment were more-or-less lost after the dissolution of OTA, and few workers in the field of HTA seem familiar with the roots of the field in the more general and social-oriented technology assessment.