The NHSX are evolving and streamlining the way apps and digital tools are assessed by the NHS. Over the last year, they have been working on drafting a technology standard that outlines what the NHSs expectations are.
They have developed the draft Digital Health Technology Standard to outline health standards in a transparent, consistent and accessible way. This new standard will support digital health technology developers by speeding up how health technologies are reviewed and commissioned across social care and the NHS.
The goal is to speed up the commissioning of health technologies by the NHS. It will make it easier for developers through procurement frameworks, to navigate the process and standards and to make it clear what is expected of them.
Through the new Standard, the NHS will be able to speed up the procurement and decision-making process which will help adopt safe, relevant and innovative technologies more quickly. Now there will be a single source of assured services and products for commissioners making the whole process easier and more efficient.
Clinicians will now be able to incorporate digital services and products into their care methods confidently, knowing that the digital health technologies of efficiency, value and safety have been adhered to.
Patients will also benefit by having access to digital tools that have been assessed as secure, safe and effective to use. These digital tools will help them manage their own care.
The NHS want a standard that works for everyone and that has received input from many people that have an interest in digital health, such as commissioners, clinicians, patients and developers. That is why they have created a survey to ensure that everything is included and to find out what benefits or challenges there are in applying the standard.
The draft standard is comprised of 10 components with an explanation of why developers need to comply with it well as links to various relevant guidelines which will help offer support for applications.
A useful collection of resources has also recently been launched by Public Health England to help people who are developing or running a digital health products. The resources will help with conducting evaluations from explaining how it works to deciding on evaluation methods and analysing the data.
The full draft is available here: Digital Health Technology Standard.
People are encouraged to read the draft and take part in the survey. Based on the feedback received, the standard will be further developed and then a full version will be published. A list of accredited external DHT assessors will also be published in Summer 2020. The survey deadline is 22 April 2020.
Workshops will also be held by the NHSX along with MedCity- an industry engagement partner. More details will be released regarding the workshops and any feedback or questions people might have can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.