NICE extends method review for health technology evaluation

Building on its existing approach to evaluating new health technologies, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has decided to extend its review of its methods for technology appraisals and guidance production for highly specialised technologies.

NICE will include the methods and processes of the Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme and the Diagnostics Assessment Programme, aligning them where appropriate.

A steering group will have senior oversight of the methods and process review.


Through this review of its evaluation methods, NICE aims to support the ambition of the NHS to provide high-quality care and good value to patients.

Due to various novel innovations in healthcare such as personalised medicine, digital health technologies and cell therapy, products are becoming more complicated to evaluate. Products are required to launch quickly, sometimes with a lower evidence base than was previously the case.

NICE will respond to these increased demands by providing guidance and advice and being involved in commercial discussions, something that is consequently increasing the complexity of their operations.

The steering group will use its collective knowledge of the health and care landscape to oversee the review while considering the changing national policy climate.

The review hopes to speed up patient access to new and promising health technologies; support better market access; and simplify the health technology evaluation process.


In January, NICE successfully completed its first assessment using the digital health technologies guidance development pilot project, on the Zio XT service, which is used for detecting abnormal heart rhythms.

The pilot project has since paved the way for further NICE assessment of digital health technologies that are supported by evidence and are accessible to NHS patients.


The report says: “The purpose of our review is to optimise NICE’s evaluation methods to support the ambition of the NHS to provide high-quality care that offers good value to patients and to the NHS.

The review is not starting with a blank sheet of paper. This is an incremental development of our existing world-class approach to evaluating new health technologies.”

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