Health Options® CS featured in the PHE/OHID-commissioned ORCHA report on NHS Health Check technologies: an outline of the assessment process involved


In December 2020, Public Health England (PHE) – now the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) – put out an Open Call for “Digital Health Products and Services that are capable of delivering or supporting the delivery of the key elements of the current NHS Health Check”. To complete this work, PHE engaged with ORCHA, an organisation that specialise in “delivering safe digital health”.

This blog post gives an overview of the journey that Health Diagnostics went in in responding to that Open Call and then going through the process of having our product – Health Options® CS: the health check cloud suite – evaluated. With over 100 products having originally been submitted, the final report by ORCHA included only nine.

Health Diagnostics are delighted to say that Health Options® CS was one of the nine products featured in ORCHA’s final report. Health Options® CS was, in fact, ultimately said by ORCHA representatives to have “the most comprehensive and thorough” usability section of all that the products reviewed.

Stage 1: PHE’s initial Open Call

The first step, taken back in December 2020, was to respond to PHE’s Open Call. We did so, stating that Health Diagnostics did indeed have “a digital solution that meets the core requirements and the minimum quality standards” associated with the NHS Health Check (NHSHC), as was requested. All those that responded, which we subsequently found out was a significant number (>100 organisations), were put through to Stage 2.

Stage 2: the ORCHA baseline review (OBR)

The OBR was the next step in the review process. This involved Health Diagnostics responding to a questionnaire featuring a range of basic questions relating to the product’s description, release dates, developer details etc.

Following this, members of the ORCHA team requested access to view the digital solution. This was granted. Also provided was an outline of Health Options® CS: a solution that has been designed specifically to deliver the end-to-end requirements of the NHSHC Programme and is effectively used by commissioned service providers across the country.

The overview of Health Options® CS covered the elements detailed in the diagram below:

What this diagram shows are the following steps, all of which are integral to the end-to-end provision of the NHSHC:

  1. Send targeted invites: Health Diagnostics remotely run a specialist query at participating practices to establish the eligible NHSHC population. Practices can refine their list using the in-built targeting options and send SMS or postal invites directly from the system.
  2. Conduct interactive consultations: individuals receiving an NHSHC can either: (a) complete a remote digital self-assessment, the results from which can be used to triage people for in person consultations; and/or (b) attend an in-person consultation with a trained professional at the practice or any location in the community. Results and risk scores are provided, along with support and advice on implementing lifestyle changes.
  3. Provide personalised health reports: Peoples’ results are made available via the secure web portal, allowing them to review their data and the track the impact that changes in their lifestyle can have on their health.
  4. Receive intelligent data analytics: The data is consolidated from all the participating sites and made available to the commissioner/project lead via PowerBI Data Dashboards. This shows results and outcomes in real-time, allowing leads to manage the project and resources effectively.
  5. Seamlessly transfer data: Clinically coded results are returned electronically to patient records, with high-risk patients flagged to the practice for further follow up. Any referrals agreed during the consultation are automatically sent to the local service providers.

Following the OBR, we were informed by ORCHA that Health Options® CS had “met all the core requirements to carry out the NHS health check and has therefore been selected for the next stage of the process.”

Stage 3: DTAC completion

Stage 3 of the review represented the most in-depth and thorough of the whole evaluation: the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC).

The DTAC assessment of Health Options® CS included, amongst other things, confirmation of our compliance with the following standards and regulations:

  • DCB0129: clinical risk assessment, including risk plans, clinical safety reports and hazard logs
  • ISO27001 compliance: adherence to essential data security and management practices
  • Cyber Essentials: compliance with web-based best practice and security
  • Penetration testing: completion of regular ‘ethical hacking’ of systems
  • ICO registration: Information Commissioner’s Office reg
  • DPIA: availability of a data protection impact assessments
  • EU data storage: confirmation that all data is stored within the EU (HD’s is all within the UK)
  • GDPR conformance: compliance with the latest general data protection regulations
  • Interoperability standards: the ability to communicate with other technologies
  • CSO: the employment of a named clinical safety officer
  • DPO: the employment of a named data protection officer

Health Diagnostics displayed conformance with and completion of all the necessary criteria and were cleared for further progression to the next stage.

Stage 4: Clinician review

Having passed the DTAC, Health Options® CS was made available to clinical health professionals for a further ‘in-person’ review.

This access was given, with logins to the web-based platform enabled using Single Sign-On technology, meaning that users can access the system using, for example, their NHS Mail accounts.

We were subsequently informed that, once again, Health Options® CS was judged to have passed this test.

Stage 5: PHE’s national webinar announcing results

On the 24th March, 2021, PHE hosted a cardiovascular disease prevention webinar on the Identification of digital products capable of delivering an NHS Health Check. This webinar involved the announcement of the final selection of digital products that had made it through the evaluation process.

Having started out with over 100 applications, the webinar detailed the final nine. Health Diagnostics were very pleased to be included in this small selection of products.

Stage 6: Publication of ORCHA’s report

The last stage in the Review process involved the publication of ORCHA’s report. Please see below for the page detailing Health Options® CS: the health check cloud suite.

Indeed, whilst many of the other organisations in the report presented apps that can facilitate a self-assessment, as has become clear, Health Options® CS is almost unique in its capacity to facilitate the full NHSHC Programme’s cycle, from invites to outcomes.

For more information about Health Options® CS and how it could be used to enhance your local CVD prevention initiatives, contact Health Diagnostics today.

For the full ORCHA report, click here