The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has published a Health App Briefing for the use of Sleepio.

Sleepio is a digital sleep improvement program based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Selected to join the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) in 2015 – the programme’s inaugural year, Sleepio is represented on the NIA by Fellow Sophie Bostock.

NICE provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. There have long been calls for independent assessment of health apps to give confidence to doctors and patients, and to drive the uptake of proven innovations across the NHS. An NHS “kitemark” for health apps was promised in 2014 as part of the Government’s Paperless 2020 strategy, and highlighted in the Accelerated Access Review as a key step to adoption.The Health App Briefing (HAB) evaluation was based on the established methods for NICE’s Medtech Innovation Briefings, including an evaluation and description of the clinical evidence, estimates of resource impact and feedback from expert commentators.

The Briefing provides links to the expansive evidence base demonstrating the efficacy of Sleepio in achieving healthy sleep levels, which consists of 23 published papers, including six randomised controlled trials (RCTs). According to the HAB, the cost of Sleepio accounts for just 37% of the cost of six sessions of in-person cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The evaluation also stated that hypnotic drugs are a short-term solution and should not be taken for more than three weeks, and preferably for only one week. The full briefing is available to read here.

Dr Colin Espie, Professor of Sleep Medicine and Co-Founder of Big Health, said:

“NICE evaluating the clinical evidence base and economic implications of digital applications such as Sleepio offers huge promise for the future of digital health. To have such an influential institution assess Sleepio signals the emergence of digital medicine at the forefront of the healthcare industry.”

Sleepio is clinically proven to help 76% of those with insomnia make the changes necessary to achieve healthy sleep levels. In psychological therapy settings, 68% of those with anxiety and depression move to recovery.

The program is currently offered by employers, including Comcast, LinkedIn, and the NHS among others, as a benefit to improve health and well-being, and is already available to more than 1,000,000 employees.

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