DTAC Squirrel™ Automated Compliance Platform: A new way to DTAC compliance

Meet the squirrel from acorn compliance

by Michael Bell

We’ve been helping companies from all over the world to demystify compliance for many years, and when DTAC launched in 2021, the UK finally had an NHS-centred compliance framework that should have levelled the playing field to market entry. Why?

Because by bringing a number of strands of already existing compliance into a central compliance framework and making that the baseline standard for NHS procurement, we should have removed the ambiguity that startups and established healthtechs normally hit when looking at selling to the NHS. Right?

Well, not quite in our experience. Although DTAC, in our opinion, did a great job of clarifying what was required from those wishing to sell to the NHS, it left a gap in market access due to the cost of outsourcing your DTAC needs. This process can require an investment of around £30K for a full evidence file covering all compliance domains and for a single digital product.

At this price, many startups with amazing innovations are left wondering how they can possibly begin their compliance journey. How can they learn about DTAC and source the funds for a DTAC project? Technology pilots within the NHS, also requiring DTAC compliance, present an opportunity to collect clinical and operational evidence needed for innovation. A brave new approach is required to truly help the market and enable the NHS (and all of us) to reap the benefits of safer, more effective care.

Demystifying DTAC

I’m acutely aware of the pressure startups face, with many competing priorities, all of which need to be alchemised together at precisely the right time to ensure their idea transforms into a minimum viable product. That magical transformation often seems intangible, but there is a secret formula where DTAC is concerned.

At Acorn Compliance (a startup itself), we have assisted fellow startups in a number of ways, including:

  • Running webinars to help the startup community better understand DTAC
  • Hosting 12 free monthly DTAC drop-in clinics where anyone could attend online and ask DTAC related questions
  • Delivering webinars focussed on establishing a compliance culture within startups and larger organisations to assist them in tackling DTAC in line with their stage of product development, i.e. in a cost-effective way as their product and team grew
  • Offering free consultancy, where we gave 2 hours of consultancy time to 12 startups to help set them off on their path to DTAC success
  • Doing market research to find out startups’ biggest challenges with DTAC and how we might help solve them
  • Hosting webinars letting everyone know that DTAC is not a one off thing to do, it is a living compliance framework that must be embedded in an organisation’s DNA if they are working at bringing a product to market for the NHS (or for any other healthcare provider as DTAC compliance is useful everywhere)

This was a massive success, with everyone benefitting. Here at Acorn, we learned a lot more about the market, while the startups we worked with used our great advice to move forward on their DTAC journey!

But we knew that more was needed.

The age of AI

Even before Acorn’s inception, we knew there was an opportunity in the market to help everyone better understand DTAC and deliver that fabled, compliance bliss. 

Could some kind of AI assist all in achieving DTAC compliance? 

For us, the answer is yes. And so we set about creating something special for you, something that will truly level the playing field and make market entry to the UK as simple as possible. 

So here it is! 

The Squirrel™, our automated compliance platform for DTAC, with an accessible monthly price point for startups that ALSO comes with its own AI DTAC coach. Trained from our wealth of knowledge acquired over many, many years, Acorn’s DTAC Squirrel™ AI is your new friendly DTAC coach!

Squirrel™ is a coach that will guide you through the entire DTAC process. It will onboard you, create your base compliance artefacts, and assist you with DTAC questions that go way beyond just the NHS DTAC document.  Automated compliance and Squirrel™ will help you understand what you need to do and when you need to do it to achieve compliance, and even more importantly, stay compliant.

Automated compliance – a new reality?

Although automation and AI are great, there is no fully automated way to assure DTAC compliance right now. Anyone claiming otherwise, should not be trusted. In healthcare, there is a good reason to ensure a human touch. Above all, we need to ensure the safety and security of patients and their data. That is the number one priority.

Being deeply aware of this, we’ve built checkpoints into our automated compliance platform to ensure evidence is manually validated at appropriate points on your DTAC journey. Our promise is to do everything possible to protect you, your product, and the NHS as you navigate the (now shorter and less costly) road to compliance success.

Compliance alchemy and a market open to all

We’re incredibly proud to present Squirrel™ to you, our automated compliance platform with a magical AI coach who will guide you on your way. All with human support, whenever you need it!

Our mission is to play our part in dissolving barriers to entry should you be targeting the NHS as a key market. So now, we're offering all of this at a low monthly cost. 

Let’s work together to bring safer, more effective, and timely care to market.

Did you miss the DTAC Squirrel™ Launch?

Don't worry, you can watch the webinar recording HERE. Check out the DTAC Squirrel™ Automated Compliance page to experience all the innovative features of the world's first AI platform built from the ground up, specifically for DTAC.

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