Awarded to Empyrean Digital Limited

Start date: Saturday 1 February 2020
Value: £48,800
Company size: SME
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Manchester)

HealthTech Connect website maintenance and ongoing development copy

8 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 2 large

12 Completed applications

12 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Friday 13 September 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 20 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 27 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Provide ongoing maintenance of the HealthTech Connect website, which supports the development and adoption of health technologies with measurable benefits from product development through to adoption. In addition to ongoing maintenance, there is the possibility for further development including identifying user needs and developing new solutions to improve the service.
Latest start date
Wednesday 1 April 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Manchester)
Budget range
Guaranteed £26,000 per year for maintenance services.
Additional budget for development may be available. The estimate of the development work is not known at this time.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Maintain and develop existing system ( which:
• improves identification/tracking of health technologies (devices, diagnostics, digital) in the UK.
• streamlines processes, provides access to required intelligence to inform decision making
• encourages early engagement of industry with UK health and social care system
• improves planning for introduction and adoption of technologies that offer the most benefit and meet priorities for UK health and social care system; reducing investment in products that do not meet priorities or offer evidenced economic or patient care benefits
• reduces duplication and inconsistency in horizon-scanning decision-making by UK health and social care staff
Problem to be solved
UK health and social care system does not have an effective mechanism to identify health technologies with potential economic and patient care benefits. Ongoing aims are:
1. Reduce duplication and inconsistency in decision-making by UK health and social care staff
2. Reduce money invested by the health and social care system and companies in technologies that do not meet system priorities or offer evidenced economic or patient care benefits
3. Reduce development of new technologies of limited value
Suppliers must be able to maintain the existing website and continue to deliver improvements to it (e.g. bug fixes, new features, code-updates).
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a health technology innovator/company I need to use HealthTech Connect to input details about my technology onto HealthTech Connect, so that I can access relevant information, support and feedback from Data Accessors to support the development and adoption of my technology.

As a Data Accessor I need to use HealthTech Connect to access information inputted by innovators/companies, log notes and make decisions, so that I can avoid manual approaches to tracking the development of technologies with benefits to the health and care system so I can better plan and prioritise for their adoption.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
HealthTech Connect has been developed jointly with, and is supported by stakeholders: NHS England, NHS Wales, NHS Scotland, Industry (represented by the ABHI, AXREM and BIVDA), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, National Institute of Health Research Innovation Observatory, National Institue for Health Research, Department of Health and Social Care, Department for International Trade, Office for Life Sciences, Academic Health Science Networks, NHS Supply Chain,
There is an active user group with representation of all users that identfy and discuss issues, solutions, and prioritise future developments.
The website has been fully operational since April 2019.
Existing team
There is a small HealthTech Connect team that is responsible for management of the system. The team is based at NICE and draws on the NICE Digital WebOps team who provide hosting and access to access logs and live data, and for any issues related to the hosting.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Working arrangements
The working arrangements will vary depending on the situation.
Business as Usual: Monthly telephone or video-conference reviews. Annual face-to-face visits at the NICE Manchester office or suppliers offices, including at contract start-up.

During system fixes: Email, phone, video-conference discussions as required though to resolution.

During development phases: Email, phone, video-conference conversation as required, face to face at suppliers office as required.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
In addition to the standard contract each individual working on the project will be required to sign a NICE confidentiality agreement and declare any conflicts of interests.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience with Umbraco
  • Experience of delivering and maintaining software to high level of quality through TDD, automated testing (unit/integration/acceptance); maintaining good level of automated test code coverage. Knowledge of software development best practices
  • •Experience of designing, implementing and testing to meet WCAG 2.1 AA
  • •Experience of undertaking robust user research and complex user journey mapping to deliver a product that achieves desired outcomes and meets user needs
  • •Experience of working with commercially sensitive data, demonstrating understanding of data security, confidentiality and integrity
  • •Experience in using robust metrics, analytics, search data and user feedback; experience with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics for usage tracking
  • •Demonstrable experience of prototyping, testing and iterating with users and stakeholders
  • •Experience with C#, MVC, Razor, SQL, IIS, Nunit/xUnit and a Visual Studio development environment (system must be compatible with NICE core technical stack and with NICE's hosted environment on AWS)
  • •Expertise in front-end, UI web development (semantic HTML5/CSS3 and CSS pre-processors); modern front end javascript (including ES6), libraries like jQuery, frameworks like Angular, React; Front-end build tools like Grunt, Gulp
  • •Experience of successful development of back-end technologies, databases, developing APIs, meeting data standards, and experience of GitHub and deployment tools such as TeamCity and Octopus Deploy
  • •Experience developing scalable, load-balanced web applications: Experience conducting load tests, performance profiling and optimizing performance bottlenecks
  • •Experience in building responsive web applications suitable for a variety of devices and screen sizes and designing for touch devices; Ability to build for IE8+, Chrome, Safari and Firefox.
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • Value for money
  • Experience and skills
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be transparent and open about service issues
  • Be dedicated to continuous improvement
  • Use data driven decision making when identifying improvements
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you clarify the need for IE8 support? It's an unsupported browser (support ended in 2016) and browsers before Microsoft Edge require significantly more effort to develop for. This has a noticeable effect on cost also on accessibility.
This is something that was only recently changed by our Architecture Forum (previously we had to support it due to its continued use in the NHS) - we no longer require support for IE8 for new feature development.
2. What are the current hosting arrangements and do you foresee any changes in that over the 2 year engagement?
Currently the service is hosted by the NICE Digital Services team in AWS. You will need to coordinate with this team for requests related to the hosting. This arrangement is unlikely to change in the next 2 years.
3. Can you please reconfirm the browsers which require supporting if IE8 is no longer required.
We use the same support requirements as GDS, the guidelines can be found in their service manual here
4. What is the version of Umbraco?
5. Is Umbraco Membership provider used to manage members?
6. Are there any links to any internal CRM or 3rd party API?
7. What have been the main maintenance issues since launch in April 2019?
Due to holidays within the team, NICE will respond to this question on Tuesday 24th September 2019
8. Idea of traffic to the site and what SLA's you are looking for in terms of response times
Due to holidays within the team, NICE will respond to this question on Tuesday 24th September 2019
9. Idea of traffic to the site and what SLA's you are looking for in terms of response times as I cant see this in details provided
On average there have been 1072 sessions per month, and 370 users per month
10. What have been the main maintenance issues since launch in April 2019?
Since going live bugs reported by users have generally related to configuration of the site eg time out duration, or to edge cases missed in the original build.