News, Secondary Care

NHSX digital technologies assessment formally launches

NHSX has formally launched its Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC), an assessment process to review digital health tools.

The criteria, which can be completed in days, aims to help local and national NHS and social care teams purchase and adopt the right technologies that have been reviewed by the DTAC standards.

Launched in October 2020 in beta, NHSX engaged with health tech developers and innovators on the assessment criteria, which was reviewed by over 800 organisations to feedback into the development of the standards.

The DTAC process is open to innovations ranging from healthcare apps to electronic patient records. It scores technologies against criteria such as clinical safety, data protection, technical security and interoperability.

Included within the process, innovators must present their Clinical Safety Officer, their technology’s technical security and highlight its context around interoperability.

NHSX said the new criteria will help innovators and developers understand the standards they need to meet to offer their products to the NHS, whilst offering a faster and simpler assessment process which can be completed in days. The digital unit is now working to ensure DTAC is used across the NHS and becomes the default criteria against which digital health technologies that are being considered for use are assessed against.

Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX, said: “The new Digital Technology Assessment Criteria is designed to give staff, patients and citizens confidence that the digital health tools they use meet the NHS’s high standards.

“Digital health technologies are used throughout the NHS, and increasingly in social care, to improve patients’ experiences, increase access to services and reduce the burden on staff. The new assessment process will identify the digital tools that meet NHS standards on clinical safety, cyber security and data protection from amongst the thousands available in the market, and do it more quickly than before.”

Rhod Joyce, deputy director of innovation development at NHSX, said: “We want to support the adoption and scale of good, safe health technologies for those buying health tech within the system, which will ultimately help NHS patients across the country.

“Through DTAC we are clearly setting out from the very start the criteria innovators need to meet for their products to be used by the NHS.

“It will also empower local NHS and social care organisations to assure themselves that the tools they plan to use meet national standards.”

The DTAC document is available here, or find out more information here.