The NICE Topic Selection Oversight Panel recently selected MTEVA589 Guided digital therapies for adults with anxiety disorder 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.
About 8 million people in the UK have some form of anxiety disorder, with 8% of people in England in any given week meeting the diagnosis of mixed anxiety and depression. Demand for mental health services has increased even further with the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital therapies may ease pressure on services by providing low intensity interventions as part of a stepped-care approach to treatment. They are delivered online or through apps and allow people to self-manage their mental health condition with varying levels of practitioner support. These therapies generally include modules for the person to work through in their own time. Some can also monitor a person’s progress through self-report questionnaires. As the treatment is virtual, people can get access sooner than face-to-face care. This may help with quicker management of symptoms and could prevent escalation to more intensive treatment.
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, implementation and adoption, and effectiveness compared with standard care. NICE will identify and review digital therapies for adults with anxiety disorder to determine whether they can be recommended for conditional use in the NHS to further collect real-world evidence and 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.