NICE makes clear what ‘good’ looks like for digital health devices

Innovators looking to exploit technologies in physiotherapy may benefit from a new guide demonstrating the effectiveness of apps and other digital innovations.

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The NICE guide will support the way promising, value-driven technologies are introduced into the NHS

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said its guide sets out the requirements for developing digital health technologies for the NHS.

It also outlines how to speed up the uptake of products. These include the healthcare apps and wearable devices already used by some physiotherapy staff.

The standards were developed by NICE as part of a working group led by NHS England. By engaging with industry, commissioners and innovators, it sought to understand how health technology could thrive in the NHS.

NICE said that the resulting guide was designed to support digital health technology development and provide guidance on what evidence was needed when innovators present their products to potential NHS buyers.

Good level of evidence

Alexia Tonnel, NICE evidence resources director, said: ‘The new standards will make it easier for innovators and service commissioners to understand what a good level of evidence for new digital products looks like.

‘This will enhance understanding between innovators and healthcare commissioners, supporting the way in which promising, value-driven technologies are introduced into the NHS for the benefit of clinicians and patients.’

Better care for patients

Indra Joshi, digital programme clinical lead at NHS England, said: ‘Harnessing new digital technologies could help the NHS provide better care for patients and empower them to take more control of their own health and care.

‘The NHS needs to be sure any new digital tools are backed by appropriate evidence. These new standards, developed in partnership with NHS bodies, industry and academia, will be the start of that dialogue of defining what “good” looks like in digital health technologies.’

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by Gill Hitchcock

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