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What is the Diagnostics Assessment Programme?

As part of NICE's work on evaluating medical technologies, the Diagnostics Assessment Programme (DAP) focuses on the evaluation of innovative medical diagnostic technologies in order to ensure that the NHS is able to adopt clinically and cost effective technologies rapidly and consistently.

Diagnostics includes all types of measurements and tests that are used to evaluate a patient's condition, such as physiological measurements, laboratory tests and pathologytests, imaging tests, and endoscopy.

Diagnosis is the process of identifying whether the patient has a disease at the time of testing. It is performed for patients with specific complaints or in whom signs or symptoms have been noted that may indicate a disease. Tests can have several different uses in the process of diagnosis, for example:

  • Ruling in or out a specific disease
  • General examination looking for clues to the cause of the symptoms
  • Staging, or additional testing to assess how advanced or severe the disease is
  • Monitoring a patient over time to determine changes in their condition
  • Screening tests to look for conditions in patients without signs or symptoms of the specific condition.

What we do

The Diagnostics Assessment Programme (DAP) provides specialist capacity for undertaking complex assessments of diagnostic technologies. In many cases, the meaningful assessment of diagnostic technologies requires detailed knowledge of the post diagnosis care pathways, which results in considerable complexity.

The programme is closely linked to NICE's Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme MTEP) and the Medical Technologies Advisory Committee (MTAC). MTAC undertakes topic selection for all medical technologies and routes appropriate diagnostics topics to the DAP.

For details on live topics, see our guidance in development page.

Diagnostics Advisory Committee

Professor Adrian Newland chairs the Diagnostics Advisory Committee. A Consultant Haematologist at Barts and the London NHS Trust for almost 30 years, and Professor of Haematology at Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, Professor Newland brings a wealth of skills and experience to the post.

The Committee comprises 22 standing members and a number of specialist members who have specific expertise in the technology/ies under review. Standing committee members include health professionals, NHS managers, academics, industry representatives and two lay members.

Specialist Committee members are recruited specifically for each topic. Details of current opportunities can be found on the 'Join a NICE committee or working group' page.

For details of specialist Committee members working on NICE diagnostics guidance, please see our guidance in development page.

Pilot project

Get more information about the pilot project, which ran from summer 2009 to the end of 2010.

Contact us

Please send all enquires relating to the Diagnostics Assessment Programme to nice@nice.org.uk.

Related links

This page was last updated: 17 July 2012

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.