Most of us are already familiar with digital health technologies, including wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and virtual reality experiences. But what you may not have heard about is a rapidly emerging sector in digital health where software programs use therapeutic interventions in the treatment, management, and in some cases, prevention of medical conditions.
This new category of medicine is known as Digital Therapeutics. Some companies that create digital therapeutics apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval to become a Prescription Digital Therapeutic.
Using digital therapeutics, patients can access treatment when they need it. Your physician, nurse or another healthcare worker might monitor your blood pressure or blood sugar from afar, provide feedback and make a suggestion to take your medication or eat something.
The list of diagnoses and disorders that can be treated using digital therapeutics is expanding and infinite, as scientists and medical teams examine how to target specific populations, diagnoses, and treatment goals.
Elements of digital health, such as collecting digital biomarkers and monitoring or assessing for change, are integrated into digital therapeutics. However, it is essential to recognize that they are not interchangeable technologies. Digital therapeutics are much more than the process of collecting and monitoring patient information. What distinguishes digital therapeutics is the ability to deliver evidence-based interventions.
The Endpoint is What’s Important
Interventions are only as effective as measuring their endpoints. Digital therapeutics interventions target various clinical outcomes. Some focus on managing conditions, including diabetes and pain, while others emphasize modifying behavior, focusing on health and wellness. Proven outcomes of digital therapeutics include better disease or symptom management, improvements in quality-of-life measures, reductions in hospitalizations, and directly influencing histological, biochemical, and clinical outcomes. All of these demonstrate how successful this treatment tool is.
No Sophisticated Equipment Is Needed
While digital therapeutics software requires hardware, the relatively low cost of personal electronics has nearly eliminated this potential barrier to care in most situations. Almost 97% of Americans have a cell phone, for instance, and the majority own smartphones, making it easier for people to have or add digital therapeutic apps.
A New Care Continuum: The Connected Patient
Digital Therapeutics mobilizes healthcare, extending the therapeutic reach beyond costly in-person services. The wide acceptance and integration of wearables and software as a medical device provide new insights into patient behaviors, removed from the sterile clinical environment.
Digital Therapeutic Transformative Impact
Digital Therapeutics have a considerable impact on the quality of healthcare available. Some of the additional benefits of these therapeutics include:
- clinically-validated treatments
- patients more likely to follow treatment plans, with more positive health outcomes
- greater access to care for patients, removing constraints of time and location
- improvements in patient engagement
- low cost
- easy to expand upon
- often reimbursable by insurance
- reduces the burden of healthcare resources for chronic conditions
- adaptable, can be used either as a stand-alone or to supplement another treatment
If you’d like to learn more about digital therapeutics, subscribe to our blog. We will continue to delve into this expanding healthcare sector, as experts project it will grow to a $56 billion global market by 2025.
We at Chronwell believe that digital therapeutics are undoubtedly a treatment solution that will shift the healthcare industry.
ChronWell: Here to Help
ChronWell offers a wide range of digital health and clinical digital therapeutics solutions to manage nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in patients, and other GI conditions. Our services improve patient outcomes such as weight loss, quality-of-life measures, histology, biochemical, and clinical outcomes.
Contact one of our experts today if you want to learn how ChronWell can help your practice.
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Learn More about Digital Therapeutics
What is Digital Health? | U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Value of DTx – Digital Therapeutics Alliance