NICE process and methods

5 Topic briefings

5.1 Developing a briefing for topics that are eligible for selection

5.1.1 Once a topic has been determined as eligible for selection, a briefing is developed to support decision making. The briefing includes:

  • a description of the technology

  • intended use and position in the care pathway

  • regulatory status

  • relevant evidence

  • input from the company or person who suggested the topic

  • related NICE guidance and guidelines.

5.1.2 The briefing may also include the following information:

  • input from the regulator

  • input from the committee

  • input from relevant organisations (such as NHS England and Improvement, NHSX, Academic Health Science Networks, Office for Life Sciences and NHS Supply Chain)

  • input from relevant experts (such as patient, clinical and academic experts).

5.2 Devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies

5.2.1 NICE develops topic briefings on devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies.

5.2.2 A subgroup of the topic selection oversight panel (see section 8) with specific expertise decides which topic briefings on devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies to publish as medtech innovation briefings (MIBs). These are developed following the MIBs process and methods statement.

5.2.3 The subgroup makes these decisions by considering:

  • Is there need for information about the topic?

  • Is there potential for useful clinical or system outcomes, quality of life, cost and resource impact?

  • Is there publicly available evidence or information relevant to the technology that can be summarised and critically appraised?

  • Is there NICE guidance or high quality, up-to-date reviews from a NICE-accredited source already available?

5.2.4 If the device, diagnostic and digital health technology topic is not selected for briefing development, the company or the person who suggested the topic to NICE is informed of:

  • the decision

  • the reasons why

  • whether the topic can be reconsidered for a MIB or NICE guidance in future.

5.3 Interventional procedure topics

5.3.1 NICE develops a topic briefing on all interventional procedures. For some topics, development of the briefing may be postponed until relevant information is available (such as clinical opinions, regulatory information, or evidence). The topic is progressed as soon as NICE is made aware that the information is available.

5.4 Medicine topics

5.4.1 The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Innovation Observatory develops topic briefings on medicines.