Horizon scanning is a process to identify potential trends, opportunities, new technologies or threats that could impact on your area of interest. Identifying these helps teams to plan for the future by taking advantage of such developments or being better prepared for them when they occur.
In health this could be identifying new and emerging medications, technologies or interventions that could be beneficial to your service or change practice and policy. It could be workplace planning or new drug developments.
There are many horizon scanning services available:
NIHR Horizon Scanning Research & Intelligence Centre Emerging technologies in healthcare
Commissioning handbook for librarians Horizon Scanning links Halfway down the page
NHS Employers Horizon scanning HR Horizon Scanning service