DataLab - Demonstrating Value For Rapid Evaluation of Evidence for NICE Guidance
In August 2018 Health Innovation Manchester agreed to fund an initial “proof-of-value” project to deliver insight and understanding as to how Data Lab could support NICE objectives defined as: “To support the adoption of well - evidenced, innovative technologies into the NHS and social care systems for the benefit of patients and citizens.” Two “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) projects were selected, one looking at statin prescribing and another on anti-microbial resistance, to create outputs that demonstrate the value to NICE of the DataLab, to increase the understanding of the place of real world evidence (RWE) analysis in NICE and to understand the challenges of working in partnership across the three organisations, NICE, University of Manchester (CHC) and HInM.
This combinatorial approach allowed for the development of a new pathway for evidence generation. Bringing together a team of different backgrounds and approaches across health economics modelling, policy, data and analytics and patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) created new ways of working and new insights and is entirely consistent with the ‘sprint’ approach used in agile methodology. In particular, the presence of NICE staff helped to ensure that the projects were connected directly to NICE’s need and best practice, for example by providing researchers with access to the latest NICE health economic models.
The value to NICE has been captured as:
The value of new knowledge. The knowledge generated has value, although difficult to quantify in monetary terms. Knowledge generated specifically to inform areas of uncertainty in NICE’s guidance and to inform future decisions regarding the need for updated guidance.
A new environment – breaking boundaries with the creation of an environment outside of NICE’s core business and provides opportunity for cross-fertilisation, joint formulation of NICE research problem statements and interactions with experts, the NHS and datasets.
Agility and speed using a digital transformation methodology. There are cost savings by not having to commission studies and time savings when speed means quicker paths to improving patients’ lives.
Ability for NICE to work in a Greater Manchester ‘learning healthcare’ system with newly established NICE Data and Analytics team
Trusted partnership where sharing of information and data is possible (e.g. expedited access to health economic models)
Generation of further research ideas and defining NICE problem statements by working synergistically with data analytics and health economics.
The opportunity to inform research questions by patients’ views.
These projects have shown that the ability of NICE to derive benefits from technology is far more dependent on the people, processes and culture than it is on the technology. For this approach to continue the following recommendations are made to:
• Run Innovation Labs (NICE/UoM/HInM) to co-develop clear problem statements for current health and guidance challenges.
• Establish clear processes and governance for DataLab, including a formal leadership group and establish pipeline of projects as a learning health platform.
• Identify and confirm pathways for future funding, both locally and nationally.
• to establish HInM processes for rapid access and integration with GM data sources.
• Continue to develop the Innovate UK programme for delivery.
• Develop a proposal for a Health Data Research UK (HDRUK) Digital Innovation Hub.