I have briefly addressed the topic of Digital Therapeutics in a previous blog entry that focused on ADHD and Esteem Therapeutics.
New to this term? "Digital Therapeutics" is an emerging form of technology in healthcare that combines software programs, devices, and various interventions to generate an umbrella of caregiving that covers all the parties involved in treatment. Technological aspects are used in conjunction with other forms of "traditional" treatment such as therapy or medication. Patients and caregivers collaborate and are kept in sync with updated information that is readily available to all in order to optimize patient outcomes.
Digital therapeutics addresses a wide range of conditions and provides a myriad of high-quality options for personalized patient care. Digital therapeutics forms an independent category of a broader healthcare program and is distinct from diagnostic and telehealth products. Implementing a program will involve a network of therapy options in which each component of care reinforces and supports the other.
Digital Therapeutics should not be confused with wellness technologies such as fitness apps and trackers, in the same way that pharmaceuticals should not be confused with supplements. Studies, trials, R&D, and analyses are all required to prove efficacy and meet safety standards. Real-time studies can be accomplished more readily with digital therapeutics, decreasing the time needed for results and potential/future approval.
Pharmaceutical companies are currently partnering with digital therapeutic companies to develop devices, but we anticipate that pharmaceutical companies will begin to develop their own digital product lines. Some believe that prescriptions will one day be used as frequently for apps as they are for medication.
This technology-based tool has great promise for the future. The buzz generated by this topic also raises questions about acceptance, efficacy, long-term benefits, funding, FDA approval, etc. Digital Therapeutics has the potential to influence healthcare across the world, improve current treatments, provide fresh methods to address needs and be used alone or in combination with other methods of care.