Digital therapeutics and wellness apps have become a lifeline for many during the pandemic, as people were unable to leave their homes to receive help maintaining their physical and mental health. As a result, the number of people using digital therapeutics and wellness apps are expected to grow from 627 million in 2020 to more than 1.4 billion in 2025.
Many of these new users are patients with chronic physical or mental health conditions, who have turned to digital therapeutics as a way of receiving the medical treatment that their conditions dictate, while also ensuring not just their own personal safety, but also their compliance with lockdown restrictions, travel bans, and social distancing regulations.
This was possible thanks to the flexibility afforded by digital therapeutics, also vital in the context of managing mental health conditions such as depression and insomnia, which can be exacerbated not just by lack of treatment, but by feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation – emotions which typify many people’s experience of the pandemic.
However, there are also other factors that have contributed to the exponential growth of digital therapeutics usage. In the last several months, the digital therapeutics space has undergone massive transformation as a result of COVID-19; not just in how these programmes have seen increased adoption among patients, but especially in how regulators and legislators responded to the then-growing public health crisis, by lifting several regulatory requirements that, in previous years, had delayed or hindered the work of digital therapeutics developers.
This was a result of the speed at which COVID-19 spread across the globe, putting governments and healthcare systems under enormous pressure not only to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19, but also to continue to treat patients with other medical conditions. In response to this situation, several other government bodies, especially in the US, relaxed or altered regulations that had previously hindered adoption of digital therapeutics by healthcare professionals. And while there is some uncertainty about whether these reforms will remain in place after lockdown restrictions are eased and/or COVID-19 abates, the expansion of reimbursement structures in particular means that any attempt at reverting these changes will likely be resisted not just by developers and providers, but also by consumers who find these technologies to be a convenient, personalised, cost-effective way of managing their healthcare.
Our lastest whitepaper, Has COVID-19 Made the Digital Therapeutics Market Healthier?, analyses the impact of the pandemic on digital therapeutics, whilst also highlighting new trends in the market.
Download the Whitepaper: Has COVID-19 Made the Digital Therapeutics Market Healthier?
Related Resources: Digital Therapeutics & Wellness