The NICE Topic Selection Oversight Panel recently selected MTEVA 588 Guided digital therapies for adults with depression and referred for early value assessment pilot which has been routed to the Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme.
Early Value Assessment
NICE have now initiated a pilot programme for Early Value Assessments (EVA's) which looks at technologies that may address national unmet needs and provides quicker assessments of their early value. This allows these promising technologies to be awarded a time-limited conditional recommendation for use in the NHS, conditional on further data collection, before NICE makes a final evaluation.
Guided digital therapies are low intensity interventions for treating or managing mental health problems. They are delivered online or through apps and allow people to self-manage their mental health condition with the support of practitioners. These therapies generally comprise of modules for the patient to work through in their own time. Some of the technologies can also monitor progress such as using PHQ-9 questionnaires. As the treatment is virtual, people can get access sooner than face-to-face options. This might mean that the symptoms are managed sooner and prevent escalation to more intensive treatment options.
Guided digital therapies are one of the treatment options categorised as guided self-help. Guided self-help is recommended by NICE’s clinical guideline on depression in adults: treatment and management. It states that guided self-help should be considered first for most people with less severe depression. It is also listed as option for more severe depression but is not recommended as the first option in this instance.
This early value assessment focusses on the use of digital therapies as an option for guided self-help. NICE’s guideline on common mental health problems defines guided self-help as a self-administered intervention using written or electronic materials with practitioner assistance. This would include therapist review of a person’s progress and regular sessions in person or via telephone. It is usually offered at step 2 of the care pathway, after assessment and active monitoring.
Key considerations on the value of guided digital therapies are usability, ability to engage with users and effectiveness when compared to standard care.
NICE will identify and review guided digital therapies providing an early signal to the system on whether they can be recommended for use in the NHS for adults with depression, conditional on further collection of real-world evidence to inform NICE guidance.
Specialist committee member recruitment
We are currently in the initial stages of the evaluation process and we would appreciate your help in identifying appropriate clinical experts who can provide clinical input during the scoping phase and who may be interested in applying to become specialist members of the Medical Technologies Advisory Committee to participate in producing NICE guidance on this topic. We are specifically looking at individuals with expertise in the following areas:
- Clinical psychologist
- Psychological wellbeing practitioner
- Mental health practitioner
- GP with specialist interest in mental health
- Adult Mental Health nurse
Clinical input is important at every stage of an evaluation and particularly during the scoping phase because it ensures that the therapeutic area and current care pathway are accurately represented in the scope, the framework of an evaluation. The clinical experts you suggest will be contacted by our technical team during the scoping phase and encouraged to attend a scoping workshop for this topic, irrespective of whether they apply for specialist committee membership.