Digital therapeutics is a growing industry with its benefits and challenges but it looks very promising at this point. Doctors are eventually beginning to realize that technology can help prevent and manage diseases, in a more effective way.
This post will cover benefits, challenges, and everything in between related to digital therapeutics.
What Is Digital Therapeutics?
Digital therapeutics (DT) is a process of using digital technology to support, augment, or provide digital therapy solutions. It uses data to help patients make better decisions about their health. It combines data from various sources—including medical records and Wearables.
By analyzing this data, doctors:
- provide personalized insights into their patient’s health
- help patients make better choices about their diet and exercise,
- make their patients manage medications and reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions.
Debate On Digital Therapeutics
- In 2021, the digital therapeutics market reached $4.20 million.
- Over the next decade, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.1%.
This makes digital therapeutics a fast growing industry and a very promising channel of investment. So, why do healthcare companies and startups choose to go for such solutions?
There’s been a lot of discussion around digital health recently. Some professionals believe that this is a milestone in the healthcare industry, while others are quite skeptical about the idea. We’ve tried to cover both the advantages and the disadvantages of the approach.
What Are The Benefits Of Digital Therapeutics?
Digital therapeutics is a promising research area with great potential for improving patients’ lives.
The benefits of digital therapeutics are:
It provides easy access to quality care regardless of location or time constraints. Now, people can have access to good healthcare even when they’re abroad. Also, digital therapeutics can reach even the farthest villages and towns.
It gives doctors a more holistic view of their patient’s health and reduces costs while increasing patient satisfaction. Patients don’t need to retake health tests, and doctors spend less time on looking for information and more time on providing care.
It can be customized to fit individual patient’s needs and provide them with health benefits. Healthcare institutions and hospitals can choose only a set of functions they need, and integrate the solution with EHR and other electronic systems.
It is less expensive than traditional treatments, given its lower reliance on medical professionals or hospitals. Digital therapeutics reduces costs spend on rent, administration, cleaning, reporting and other activities that are either eliminated or automated with the help of such applications.
What Are The Challenges Associated With Digital Therapeutics?
Despite all the benefits, digital therapeutics has some challenges to overcome.
Some of them include:
There’s no consensus on what qualifies as a digital therapeutic and, therefore, no way of measuring its effectiveness. More research needs to be done in this area to truly understand the impact of such solutions.
Many providers are concerned about maintaining patient privacy and security in an era where everything is connected to the internet. One of the ways to tackle this challenge is to develop only HIPAA-compliant products.
The concept of digital therapy isn’t well-known yet. For example, many think of “digital therapy” as synonymous with mental health apps (e.g., meditation apps).
FDA does not regulate digital therapeutics as closely as traditional pharmaceuticals. Instead, they’ve been deemed safe without rigorous evidence-based testing by relying on case studies.
What Are The Future Prospects Of Digital Therapeutics?
Digital therapeutics has gained traction over the past few years, and it seems the field will only grow as technology advances.
In the coming future, digital therapeutics will grow on three fronts:
- Clinical care,
- Population health management (PHM).
In Clinical Care, we’ll see more tools that help patients manage their conditions with the help of their doctors.
In Research, we’ll see more studies on how technology can improve patient outcomes and reduce provider costs.
And In PHM, we’ll see more tools that allow healthcare organizations to monitor their patient’s health even when they’re not actively seeing their providers.
The future of digital therapeutics is probably going to be bright. The field is increasing, and technology companies are developing new products at a quick pace.
However, there are still challenges the industry has to resolve before consumers, and healthcare providers can widely accept digital therapeutics solutions.
Digital therapeutics can be effective for some conditions, but more research is needed to determine its effectiveness for others.
Mohd Sohel Ather is a Senior Principal Software Engineer and a content writer by passion, has B.E in Computer Sciences from The Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), And enjoys exploring the latest technologies and taking on new challenges. He focuses on actionable and unique ideas that can be used to grow company business and make a real difference for customers.