During its first year of operation (1988) the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care focused on nine areas. Additional activities will be added as need requires and resources permit. Also, preparations for 1989 projects have begun. The nine areas include: identification of technologies needing assessment, including international comparisons; review and synthesis of the value of preoperative routines; review and synthesis of the value of gastroscopy for diagnosing stomach pain; assessment of different treatment methods for back pain; assessment of the value of vascular surgery for vascular spasms in the legs; organization of a strategy conference concerning medical technology assessment in Sweden; creation of a strategy that addresses an international review of medical technology, future technologies in health care, waiting lists for medical care--the importance of medical technology, resource utilization and organizational and educational aspects of introducing new technology in health care, and costs and medical technology; translation of foreign assessment studies, with comments; national and international cooperation. SCTA has discussed the need for assessing specific technology such as bone marrow transplantation and surgical treatment of epilepsy. SCTA's Scientific Advisory Committee has additionally considered the following subjects for future projects: medical, social, and economic consequences of alternative technologies screening for prostate, colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer; costs, indications, and medical benefit of surgery for varicose vains; and modern urology technologies, particularly those related to prostate care.