NICE Approves Seven Digital Technologies for Low Back Pain Management


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently announced its approval of seven digital technologies aimed at aiding patients with non-specific low back pain. This move is part of NICE’s broader initiative to reduce inequalities in accessing musculoskeletal services across England. The approved technologies are designed to be used by NHS patients in England who are aged 16 and over. 

A Word from Deviceology

Deviceology would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to all the technology providers who have received approval from NICE. This is a significant milestone in the healthcare sector, and we are thrilled to see such innovative solutions being recognised and integrated into the NHS.

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The Scope of the Problem

Low back pain is a significant issue in England, affecting approximately 2.68 million people each year. It accounts for 25% of GP consultations and stands as the leading cause of disability. The NHS faces considerable pressures due to this, and the newly approved digital platforms are expected to alleviate some of this burden.

The Approved Technologies

The seven approved technologies are as follows:

1. ACTForPAIN (Pain Medicine Specialist Ltd): A chronic pain psychological self-management programme supported by pain specialists and psychologists.

2. getUBetter (getUBetter): A digital platform integrated with GP systems to aid self-managing recovery from common musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.

3. Hinge Health Digital MSK Clinic (Hinge Health): A digital therapeutic aiming to reduce musculoskeletal pain through advanced wearable sensors and computer vision technology.

4. Kaia App (Kaia Health): Designed for people with chronic musculoskeletal pain, offering education, physiotherapy, and mindfulness techniques.

5. Pathway through pain (Wellmind Health): An intensive web-based pain management programme delivered by pre-recorded videos from physiotherapists and clinical psychologists.

6. selfBACK (SelfBack Consortium): An app for self-management of non-specific low back pain, providing educational material and weekly tailored recommendations.

7. SupportBack (University of Southampton): An internet-based intervention offering self-management for both acute and persistent low back pain.

Regulatory Compliance and Standards

It’s crucial to note that these technologies will be used in the NHS only after they have received appropriate regulatory approval and meet the NHS England’s digital technology assessment criteria. This aligns with ISO 13485, which pertains to the quality management system requirements for medical devices, including software.

The Impact on Healthcare

Health Minister Will Quince emphasised that these apps would allow patients to manage lower back pain “from the comfort of their homes,” thereby improving access to musculoskeletal services and reducing pressures on the NHS.

Public Reception

Denice Logan Rose, executive director of BackCare, the National Back Pain Association, stated that these apps form a “huge step forward” in helping people live more pain-free and active lives.


The approval of these seven digital technologies by NICE is a significant milestone in the healthcare sector. It not only addresses the immediate need for effective low back pain management but also sets a precedent for the integration of digital health solutions into mainstream healthcare systems.

Consultation Period

It’s worth noting that a consultation on these recommendations is open until 25 October. Therefore, healthcare providers and the public have the opportunity to provide their input.