Office for Digital Health

The Office for Digital Health strives to accelerate our efforts to deliver innovation to the health and care system.

As part of our strategy, we'll place significant focus on digital health over the next 5 years. This work will build on our 22 years of knowledge and expertise in health technology assessment.

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Strategic aims

The Office for Digital Health will help NICE to:

  • Identify technologies that offer the greatest potential to improve health and wellbeing.
  • Establish universal data and evidence standards for digital health technologies.
  • Monitor our evaluation methods and processes to accommodate the evolution of technologies.
  • Work with strategic partners to improve digital health approval pathways and reimbursement policy.

Key functions

The Office for Digital Health is responsible for:

  • Answering enquiries and coordinating meetings, speaking engagements and events.
  • Leading on development of digital health policy and raising awareness.
  • Continually monitoring our methods and processes.

Other teams at NICE are responsible for:

  • Offering early advice to companies in the life science industry:
    • The Office for Market Access helps the industry engage with us and the healthcare system to speed up market access.
    • Our scientific advice team provides a fee-based advisory service for industries focused on developing evidence that meets our requirements.
  • Producing guidance on digital health products. Our AI and digital regulations service provides guidance on understanding regulations of AI and digital technology in health and social care.

Services for developers

You can access the new innovation service developed by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC). It will provide advice and support to developers, from research and testing to adoption and spread.

NICE is a member of the AAC.

Current projects

Evidence standards framework update

This project will develop our evidence standards framework for digital health technologies. It will include data-driven technologies that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI), including those that use adaptive algorithms.

The framework will describe:

  • a classification approach that triages technologies for health technology evaluation
  • the evidence that should be available, or developed, to demonstrate their clinical and economic value in the UK health and care system.

It will be used to support innovators and technology developers, including:

  • commercial organisations, of appropriate evidence generation plans
  • research funders and investors, who are considering funding the development of data-driven technologies
  • evaluators and commissioners.

The framework is funded by the NHS AI Lab and supported by an academic collaboration with:

  • Imperial College London
  • The University of Birmingham
  • The Alan Turing Institute.

The updated evidence standards framework will be published in June 2022.

Innovative Devices Access Pathway

The Innovative Devices Access Pathway (IDAP) is a joint project between NICE and:

  • the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
  • Health Technology Wales
  • the Scottish Health Technologies Group.

Our involvement in the pilot phase of the project is funded by NHSX.

It will research, design and scope an innovative access pathway for selected medical and digital health technologies that:

  • are new and innovative
  • meet critical unmet needs in the health and care system
  • have the support of an NHS organisation or network
  • meet relevant safety standards.

The pathway will be piloted with digital health technologies. The aim is to help manufacturers provide their devices to healthcare professionals and patients at the earliest safe opportunity.

The pathway will help developers generate evidence that meets the needs of the regulator and health technology assessment bodies. It will also offer post market access support.

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