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22/58 HSDR Technology-enabled monitoring - rapid evaluation of innovations team specification document

Published

11 April 2022

Version

1.0 March 2022

Contents

22/58 Call for expressions of interest:
Technology-enabled monitoring - rapid evaluation of innovations team
Closing date: 22 July 2022 at 13:00 hours (two stage: EOI (stage one) to stage two)

Scope

The Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme is interested in commissioning an agile research team or consortium to conduct independent, rapid evaluations alongside promising technology-enabled innovations in health and care services that support people to use technology-enabled, remote monitoring at home. The evidence generated should be of regional, multi-regional and national relevance and of immediate use to decision-makers.

HSDR expects that most of these technology-enabled innovations will be implemented locally, supported by the Digital Care Models team within the NHSEI improvement Directorate (formerly the NHSX Digital Health team). However, innovations from elsewhere across the UK would also be also eligible for rapid evaluation and, regardless of origin, learning from these evaluations must be applicable nationally or cross-nationally.

There will be a need to work closely with Digital Care Models team and other customers, whilst maintaining independence. Regular feedback and sharing of interim findings are required in order to be of immediate use to decision-makers. There may be the need for lengthier, longitudinal studies running for the full duration of the contract.

The purpose of this call for expressions of interest is to identify a suitable applicant team or consortium able to undertake these types of evaluation. The successful team will have a proven track record in producing formative, proportionate evaluations, covering outcomes and impact for both individual patients and for the health and care services, in addition to producing methodological learning from a data-driven environment. The successful team will have the skills required to deliver complex projects involving technology in health and care services and to be able to conduct economic and process evaluations.

At this stage, the HSDR Programme is not looking for applicant teams to be identifying the specific innovations to be evaluated. Rather, applicant teams need to demonstrate they have the ability to do such identification. Applications to this call should complement, not duplicate, the scope and work of the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) in this area.

In commissioning a rapid evaluation of innovations team, with a critical mass of researchers, we would expect there to be efficiencies in activity: the value of the contract will be a maximum of £2m over three years including outputs from at least two evaluations per year, depending on the scope of each evaluation (to be negotiated with HSDR on a case-by-case basis).

Background

Health and care teams across the UK are increasingly using new technology to enable more care to be provided at home and outside of clinical settings. The method of delivering technology-enabled and supported care, when appropriate, through different forms of digital monitoring has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As an example, the Digital Care Models team has been working with the AHSNs to deliver twenty-four technology-enabled remote monitoring projects, across seven regions in England during 2021/22, with the aim of scaling this up in the future. These projects span primary, secondary, community and social care, working in partnership with patients by supporting and empowering them to use technology, devices or applications to monitor and manage their health, wellbeing and long-term conditions, at home or in their place of residence, when it is safe to do so. The current projects cover long-term conditions, mental health, COVID-19, outpatient transformation and virtual wards, with outcomes such as reduced hospital visits, admissions and length of stay, early detection of drug side-effects, deteriorating conditions, improved patient experience, and improved communication between healthcare professionals.

Some examples of the technologies deployed include:

  • The Digital Care Models team is supporting a number of virtual wards that cover a range of conditions and acuity. The technologies being used, in this space, range from products that require the patient to enter data from peripheral devices into an application to those that continually monitor and record a number of data points. To date, results are starting to show decreases in hospital length of stay and number of bed-days, as well as good subjective feedback from users.
  • Alivecor portable ECG monitoring – At home monitoring which uses a credit card-sized, portable, ECG device to monitor a patient’s heartbeat in order to track the impact of antipsychotic drugs on a patient’s cardiac health. Readings can be taken by community health professionals, during routine visits, without the need for attending primary or secondary care.

Assessment process and timetable

This will be a two-stage process, expressions of interest (EOI) in the first instance, moving to stage 2 full applications. EOI applications will be considered by a funding committee chaired by the programme director. A number of teams will be shortlisted and invited to submit a stage 2 application to the HSDR funding committee. Two to three representatives, from each research team submitting an application are likely to be invited to a committee interview.

Expressions of interest must include:

  • Consideration of the criteria set out in this call
  • A statement of the general approach to be adopted
  • A description of the research team or consortium; its overall capacity and ability to recruit/supervise/direct resources, as needed
  • Brief CVs of the likely lead applicant and two others, likely to be named as co-applicants, should a full stage 2 application be invited. The roles of these individuals, their expertise and level of input must also be stated
  • Arrangements for management of the contract and the projects
  • Details of the resources required to undertake the work over the life of the contract

Online expression of interest applications should be completed and submitted by 1pm on 22 July 2022.

Probity and handling conflicts of interest

A competing interest will include any financial or other relationship with, or interest in, an intervention or service to be evaluated. Any competing interests will be adjudged against individual evaluations within the contract. Any possible conflict of interest arising should be declared to the HSDR programme at the time of scoping the evaluation.

Transparency agenda

In line with the government’s transparency agenda, any contract resulting from this tender may be published in its entirety to the public.  Further can be found at: