New NHS criteria for digital health tools

Streamlined approval process aims to speed up NHS digital transformation

26th October 2020 about a 2 minute read

NHSX is launching new assessment criteria for digital health tools and apps to enable developers to build ‘tech by design’ rather than retrofitting.

The Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC), currently in beta form, will act as a baseline to test suitability and function of digital health tech for use by the NHS, social care staff or by members of the public. 

The DTAC will set out the specific requirements that must be met before digital health technologies can be used by patients or staff.

There will also be a new Guide to Good Practice for digital and data-driven health technologies, due for publication in October by the NHS AI Lab.

Lauren Harkins, Digital Assessment Programme Lead and Rhod Joyce, Head of Partnerships at NHSX, said the new criteria aim to consolidate and replace existing assessments such as the Digital Assessment Questionnaire (DAQ) rather than add a new one. 

“By clearly setting this out up-front, we are supporting developers to build ‘tech by design’ rather than retrofitting.” Lauren Harkins and Rhod Joyce, NHSX

And they added: “We believe the DTAC sets a simpler, clearer baseline for digital health technologies to adhere to, enabling patients and the system to adopt relevant, safe and innovate technologies more quickly.”

Key principles for DTAC include: clinical safety, data protection, technical assurance, interoperability and usability and accessibility.

The final version of the criteria will be published in January 2021. In the meantime developers are encouraged to consider whether they meet the DTAC criteria.

NSHX is holding a webinar on November 17 on the subject.