1. Smartphone Applications
The smartphone is still the mainstay of delivering DTx solutions. Many DTx solutions that use multiple technologies still use a smartphone to interact with the patient. Smartphone applications can be highly innovative, engaging, and offer therapeutic value.
- Woebot is a smartphone-enabled mental health chatbot. It uses conversational AI software to form therapeutic bonds with users as they discuss mental health issues.
- Mindset Health recently launched a DTx app for smoking cessation, relying on self-hypnosis.
- Sidekick Health recently launched a DTx app for atopic dermatitis. Patients have access to a variety of educational content, videos, and a coach to support them.
2. Video Games
Delivering behavioral change or cognitive training via video games is an emerging medium. Done well, it has the potential to activate reward centers in the brain and engage participants over the longer term.
- EndeavorRx from Akili uses video games to treat children with ADHD. Akili are expanding to other indications including autism, major depressive disorder, and lupus.
- MindMotion Go from MindMaze was an early DTx entrant employing a ‘gamified’ solution. It uses 3D motion capture games to engage patients undergoing neuro-rehabilitation exercises.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality has the power to immerse participants in a 3D environment that can facilitate the treatment of a range of conditions, from chronic pain to mental health issues.
- AppliedVR uses virtual reality to reduce Chronic Pain intensity long term compared with a placebo app. The 8-week immersive program uses body awareness, pain distraction, relaxation, and behavior modification to counter the pain.
- OxfordVR employs virtual reality to treat people with serious mental illnesses. The technology helped people who had previously been too anxious to visit a store, ride a bus, or even leave home. It did this by offering simulated experiences of these activities using the VR headset, gradually reducing their fear.
- A virtual reality digital therapeutic for amblyopia – sometimes known as lazy eye – has been shown to improve vision correction. The DTx – called Luminopia One – treats amblyopia by getting people with the condition to watch specially modified TV shows and movies using a virtual reality headset designed to promote use of the weaker eye.