What are Digital Therapeutics?
Digital therapeutics are technology-based tools that use specialized software to treat, manage, or prevent a wide spectrum of physical, mental, and behavioral health conditions. They can be described as any accepted software-based tool that treats a health problem.
In a country where more than 130 million people suffer from at least one type of chronic disease, digital therapeutics have emerged as a changing resource that connects patients seamlessly with their current health care plans and helps to properly manage their conditions. Although clinical treatment support is critically important, they are complementary.
Digital therapeutics are usually designed, built, and implemented by healthcare providers at home or with the help of third-party developers.
Functions of Digital Therapeutics
The Digital Therapeutics Alliance, along with various care providers and leaders within the digital health landscape, have identified the following important functions of digital therapeutics:
- Improve and support current medical treatments
- Provide novel medical options for patients, providers, and those who pay for unmet medical needs
- Use independently or in combination with other treatments
- Reduce reliance on certain medications or other treatments
- Stick to medical guidelines and best practices
Each digital therapist must meet one of the above requirements to meet regulatory compliance and be considered viable for medical use. Within these parameters, digital therapies facilitate the prevention, treatment, support, and management of a wide range of conditions.
What Conditions are Digital Therapeutics Used for?
Since they arrived in the medical landscape, digital therapeutics have been developed to intervene in conditions such as:
- Substance Use and Disorder
- ADD and ADHD
- Asthma and COPD
- Sleep Disorder
- Behavioral Health Issues
- Chronic Back Pain
- Neurological Disorder
- Medication Management
There is an ever-increasing number of advanced therapeutics being fostered every year, and each should meet rigid rules, similar to the medicine endorsement measure. Each digital therapeutic should be planned with the objective of either tending to an ailment; overseeing or forestalling a clinical issue or illness; improving a drug (an individual prescription or class of drugs), or treating a clinical infection or disorder.
What is the Difference between Digital Therapeutics and Digital Health?
Digital therapeutics is only one component of digital health (FDA-approved term to describe all technologies that involve patients for health-related purposes). They are within the large digital health space with full technologies that help patients through different stages of their health process, including:
- Devices, Sensors, and Wearables (Wearable and Wireless Devices, Biometric Sensors, Etc.)
- Mobile Health (Fitness Trackers, Nutrition Apps, Etc.)
- Telehealth (Telemedicine, Virtual Visits, Remote Patient Monitoring, Remote Care Programs, Etc.)
- Personalized Healthcare (Patient-Reported Outcomes, Predictive Analytics, Clinical Decision Support, Etc.)
- Health Information Technology (Electronic Medical Records Systems, Electronic Prescribing and Order Entry, Etc.)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points to digital therapy and other aspects of digital health as a tool to provide consumers with new options for better decision-making about their health and to improve prevention, early detection, and long-term management of life-threatening diseases and conditions outside of traditional caretaking systems.
The Future Is Digital
Digital therapeutics have moved way far beyond “nice-to-haves” and have become an essential part of the comprehensive care, management, and prevention of chronic disease states. If you haven’t bought it, that’s fine, because there are others. Investments in digital therapeutics have risen significantly since their inception, to a total of more than $ 1.5 billion to date. With investments in overall digital health projected to reach half a trillion dollars over the next five years, it is a safe bet that digital therapies will come to the fore, and continues to evolve in addressing complex maintenance needs.
The Many Benefits of Digital Therapeutics
At the clinical level, digital therapeutics have assisted patients to provide support as they try to manage their difficult and painful conditions; At the human level, they are able to participate actively in their own care.
Digital therapeutics has become an important link in the digital health chain. They not only provide patients with patient care, support, information, and management with the next level of sustainability but also enable them to be participants in their own care journey. They mark the culmination of the next evolution of personalized, technology-based health care and treatment.
At a clinical level, digital therapeutics provide increased assistance and support to patients as they try to manage their difficult and traumatic conditions. Digital therapeutics have helped the patients know that they can be active participants in their own care.
Digital therapeutics is an evidence-based software program intended to prevent or treat a disease and has been designed for a high-specific patient population and a short clinical indication. Digital therapeutics targets specific clinical outcomes using regimental intervention according to a defined clinical symptom and patient population. It is tight in its objectives and the experience will vary from patient to patient. Several peer-reviewed publications are needed to demonstrate the clinical effects surrounding the specific condition for which treatment is designed.
Digital therapeutics is software-only in which they involve people, the primary purpose of these people is to provide accountability and support against the limited program of digital therapy. The humans involved did not define the specific pathway for the patient. Interventions are highly organized and targeted, with each patient having a very similar experience. The objectives of the digital therapeutics include shaping behavior above and beyond simple drug adherence. FDA has approved the digital therapeutics. Alternatively, digital therapeutics can be matched within an existing regulatory framework at another organization.
Digital therapeutics always go to a company’s marketplace to gain market access and receive health care professional recommendations if a drug is needed. These products must achieve the ability to pay the bill through a prescription and/or drug claims/cost and drug benefits.