As digital technology plays an increasing role in our lives, it’s not surprising that digital therapeutics (DTx) are forecast to take off over the next few years. And there is a clear consensus in the industry that the rapid spread of COVID-19 will accelerate this trend, as the need for patient empowerment and remote care increases.
Smartphones, smart watches, wearables and other devices are becoming commonplace, making DTx more and more accessible to patients and healthcare systems.
IQVIA’s Brian Clancy said that DTx offer big pharma something that can reach right into peoples’ lives, helping them modify their behavior and maximizing the potential of conventional medicines.
There really is this opportunity to use the really rich digital media that we have on our smartphones and in virtual reality devices and on our virtual assistants to really teach people new skills that they can then deploy in their life to better manage conditions that they might have, he told The Sidebar.
Reimagining the Development of Medicines
According to Clancy one of the factors pushing companies towards DTx is that developing them is becoming easier, and this trend is likely to continue in the coming years.
As mobile digital technology becomes ubiquitous, the raw materials necessary to research the efficacy and safety of DTx are becoming more and more abundant.
Every person, who buys a smartphone or digital device could be a potential trial candidate, and as devices become more powerful their ability to gather detailed data will increase.
We’re seeing massive adaption of virtual trials in the digital therapeutics industry because there is just this perfect fit to develop a digital therapeutic, a digital medicine, using these digital-savvy clinical trial capabilities that are now available. The same goes for commercialization of these products, Clancy said.
Beyond virtual trials, other areas where DTx developers are early adopters and pioneers in this digital reimagining of medicines development include the use of patient reported data and real world data in regulatory use cases as well as leveraging tech-enabled provider networks to recruit patients into studies.