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The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published its official recommendation for their health technology evaluation of digital technologies for managing non-specific low back pain. Wellmind Health's Pathway through Pain programme is one of the five recommended digital therapeutics that can be used in the NHS while more evidence is being generated following an appraisal via NICE's - Early Value Assessment (EVA) programme.

NICE's EVA programme rapidly provides recommendations on promising health technologies that have the potential to address national unmet need. This guidance aims to reduce inequalities in accessing musculoskeletal services across the country, with other benefits envisaged include reducing waiting lists, the number of GP and physiotherapy appointments, the use of medication and the potential need for surgery.

Pathway through Pain is the only clinically validated digital Pain Management Programme (PMP). The flexible web-based course is designed to help people take control and better manage chronic/persistent musculoskeletal pain and has already helped thousands of people. Pain medicine experts teach participants a new approach to pain, empowering self-management of pain for an improved quality of life with pain no longer in control.

NICE has assessed early evidence on the selected digital technologies to determine if earlier patient and system access in the NHS is appropriate while more evidence is generated. They can be used in the NHS while more evidence is generated, to manage non-specific low back pain in people aged 16 and over. More evidence will be generated over the next 3 years to assess if the benefits of these technologies are realised in practice. NICE guidance will be reviewed to include this evidence and make a recommendation on the routine adoption of this technology across the NHS.

Two key requirements for the selected digital therapeutics are that they have appropriate regulatory approval and meet the standards within NHS England’s Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC). Pathway through Pain is a selected technology that already satisfies both requirements. Following successful generation of the required evidence over the 3-year period, the data will be evaluated for full NICE guidance, with the potential for every patient to have the right to treatment of the digital therapeutics that have satisfied all criteria.

The full guidance can be read here.

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