Digital Therapeutics & the Path to Healthcare Revolution

POSTED BY Adam Wears

The Explosive Growth of Digital Therapeutics

The last year has seen digital therapeutics undergo a significant shift; from niche technologies unfamiliar to consumers and clinicians, to part of a larger movement within the digital health space towards a delivery model that prioritises proactive prevention, management, and treatment of medical conditions before they significantly affect patients’ lives.

The Main Benefits of Digital Therapeutics

The central premise of digital therapeutics is that they provide an alternative to traditional in-person healthcare; enabling patients with chronic conditions to manage their healthcare and self-dispense treatments at home, under the supervision of clinicians, coaches, therapists, and in some cases, artificial intelligence algorithms.

There are several advantages to this reimagining of healthcare delivery, the first being that digital therapeutics provide an unparalleled level of accessibility to healthcare services for patients who may otherwise go without, for reasons including cost, travel time and working hours, or even the total absence of services in their vicinity (for instance, for patients living in rural locations). This same principle also applies to the provision of healthcare services to vulnerable and/or housebound persons.

The Essential Role of Infrastructure

The successful deployment of digital therapeutics, however, is enormously dependent on local infrastructure. In many cases, patients require, at minimum, a smartphone and robust Internet connection to use digital therapeutics effectively and safely; requirements that may reinforce the disadvantages that prevented the patient from accessing healthcare services in the first place. In addition, deploying healthcare systems must be digitalised to a degree sufficient to support common functionalities including remote monitoring and live coaching, alongside mainstream usage of electronic health/medical records to ensure that patients’ data is utilised effectively.

Scientific Validation a Key Requirement for Deployment

The most important requirement for digital therapeutics is scientific validation, which vendors and developers can achieve in two ways:
  • By collaborating with independent scientific researchers to conduct a clinical trial to examine whether their therapeutic is capable of delivering the promised health outcomes; often culminating in the results being published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  • By submitting their therapeutic to market regulators, who will assess the product on its ability to deliver promised health outcomes in a manner that guarantees the safety and security of users; which if successful, objectively demonstrates that the therapeutic provide benefits that outweigh its known and potential risks.
It should be noted that scientific validation is not a legal requirement for digital therapeutics, however, vendors that forgo scientific validation are unlikely to find an audience for their products among key stakeholders, such as insurers and healthcare providers.

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Our latest whitepaper, How Digital Therapeutics Are Redefining Chronic Care in 2022, explores:
  • What Are Digital Therapeutics?
  • Digital Therapeutics Market Dynamics
  • Market Forecast Summary

Digital Therapeutics & Wellness Market Research

Our latest research found:
  • Digital therapeutics revenue from health insurers will increase to $8 billion by 2026, up from $1.1 billion in 2022; representing a growth of 610% over the next four years.
  • Savings will be limited to health insurers in developed regions, where consumer devices and digitalised health infrastructure are ubiquitous.
  • Insurers will benefit from an ongoing shift among digital therapeutics vendors towards engagement- and results-based payments.
  • People using digital therapeutics will increase by 381% over the next four years.
  • Machine learning will be key to this growth by facilitating advanced data analytics, remote patient monitoring, and real-time conversational coaching.