Knowing what good looks like

NHS England’s Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence Clinical Lead sets out new evidence standards to support the speed and uptake of digital health tools:

Developing new standards for health technologies like apps and wearables devices in the dynamic, fast-paced world of digital health was always an exciting challenge for us.

Today we have published the NICE Evidence Standards Framework supporting digital health innovators, grant funders, investors and commissioners to understand what a ‘good’ level of evidence looks like.

Enabling the categorisation of digital health technologies by functional classification helps ensure that evidence is both relevant and proportionate. Our new framework is intended to support evidence generation plans for digital health innovations and to help inform the judgement of evaluators about the quality and relevance of the evidence base, by examining both evidence of clinical effectiveness and economic impact.

This guidance was built in close collaboration with industry, academia, clinicians and health and social care commissioners. And it was led by multiple national bodies through a series of workshops using real world evidence and products used in everyday healthcare practice. A short explanatory video can be seen here: NICE Evidence Standards Framework for Digital Health Technologies.

The framework directly supports Principle 9 of the Initial Code of Conduct for Data-Driven Health and Care Technologies and is complementary to other tools and standards that exist or are being developed, including:

  • the Digital Assessment Questions developed by NHS Digital;
  • regulatory standards developed by the Care Quality Commission, the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the British Standards Institute;
  • Public Health England’s public health profiles, providing health and wellbeing indicators to support commissioning and improve health and wellbeing.

We are continuing to work with national partners to integrate these evidence standards into current practice and ensure they are maintained alongside the pace of change in technology.

To find out more and drive the discussion, register now for our NHS conference, ‘Empowering People in A Digital World’ on 13 February in London.

Dr Indra Joshi is the Clinical Lead for NHS England’s Empower the Person Portfolio overseeing the national citizen facing digital initiatives within the NHS with a focus on evidence, data, digital health standards and policy for AI.

Indra has a unique portfolio with experience stretching across policy, governance, digital health and marketing, national project strategy and implementation; whilst remaining true to her professional training as an emergency medic.

She is the Clinical Director of One HealthTech – a network which campaigns for the need and importance of better inclusion of all backgrounds, skillsets and disciplines in health technology. Alongside she is a Vice Chair for the British Computer Society (Health), an international speaker and consultant on digital health, an expedition medic, and most importantly a mum to two wonderful little munchkins

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