Why does healthcare need digital therapeutics?
I guess I would rephrase the question slightly: Why can digital therapeutics contribute to better health and well-being? If we start from the objective of health and well-being for all people, it seems quite obvious that digital solutions can have a positive impact on health and well-being. After all, people spend an enormous amount of time with their digital devices, be it smartphones or wearables. Given this fact, wouldn’t it make sense to “use” these digital devices to make a positive contribution to health and well-being?
Investments in digital therapeutics companies are growing. Pharma companies are cooperating with DTx startups. What requirements must be met to accelerate DTx adoption?
There are some general factors that determine eHealth adoption across countries, which also have an impact on digital therapeutics: Does the country in question have a digital health strategy and does that strategy include digital therapeutics? How about a regulatory pathway for digital therapeutics? A pathway for (nationwide) reimbursement? Is there a digital health infrastructure in place that enables the adoption of digital therapeutics (this includes the classical enablers like electronic patient records and e-prescriptions)?
Finally, how does digital health literacy look to healthcare professionals and patients? How easy or cumbersome is it for healthcare professionals to prescribe digital therapeutics compared with prescribing medication and medical devices?
There are, in addition, some direct-to-consumer categories of digital therapeutics. For these, the usual mechanics of “app stores” can determine the success of their adoptions. For example, when analyzing downloads of health-related apps, it’s often found that there are usually three to five apps in a category that have the majority of downloads. This often correlates with the rating of the app.