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OP76 “Thunderbirds Are Go!” Rapid Response HTA Outputs For COVID-19

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 December 2022

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The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for rapid assessment of potential health technologies that can improve health outcomes in COVID-19 patients, as well as helping pressurized health service provision. Medical technologies play a key role in the COVID-19 pandemic, especially diagnostic tests and respiratory technologies. This study evaluates the rapid response work that the medical technology evaluation programme (MTEP) at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Companies routinely submit medical technologies for evaluation by NICE through HealthTech Connect, which is an online portal for devices, diagnostics and digital technologies intended for use in the NHS or wider United Kingdom health and care system. During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were able to use a designated email address if they perceived their technology may benefit the healthcare system regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. This new system bypassed the usual full registration and data submission. All technologies were reviewed that were submitted via HealthTech connect and email between March 2020 and June 2021.


During this period, 20 technologies were submitted to MTEP. Most of these technologies were submitted via email. These technologies consisted of a mix of digital, diagnostic, and respiratory technologies. Seven technologies were selected for a rapid COVID-19 MedTech innovation briefing (MIB), with one specifically addressing issues around waiting lists because of knock-on effects of COVID-19 restricting normal clinical work. A further six technologies were not selected because of limited evidence, while one was not selected because it was not perceived as innovative. The other five technologies were progressed as normal MIBs as there was not enough evidence of potential benefits related to COVID-19 to expedite to a rapid COVID-19 MIB. In total, two technologies were selected for medical technology guidance (myCOPD and Anaconda) and are currently in development.


MTEP has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by prioritising and producing rapid COVID-19 MIBs on technologies to improve health and social care.

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© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press