Digital Therapeutics have become a major component in the ever-evolving healthcare industry. The global Digital Therapeutics (DTx) market is forecasted to reach a value of $1.06 billion in 2028, with one of the key factors driving the growth of the industry being the rising focus on preventative care by governments across the globe. With the industry growing at such an incredible pace, what are the Digital Therapeutics trends we can expect to see in the future?
Four Future Digital Therapeutics Trends
Collaborations Will Deepen
A single company rarely possesses all the knowledge and skills required to successfully launch a Digital Therapeutics company. Over the past two years, there has been an explosion of partnerships and collaborations between DTx startups – a Digital Therapeutics trend which is projected to continue as the market advances.
HealthTech startups Chugai and Biofourmis, for example, have collaborated to develop a digital system to measure patients’ pain levels due to endometriosis. The systems incorporates wearables to measure physiological markers for pain and then analyzes this data through artificially intelligent software to identify patterns. Alongside this, patients are encouraged to participate in questionnaires through a gamified smartphone app. Currently, this program is under clinical investigation in an ongoing trial which will expectedly improve our understanding of the relationship between pain and endometriosis.
Regulatory Processes Will Improve
There are specific standards that a product has to meet in order to be considered a Digital Therapeutic. Fundamentally, a DTx has to have support from the relevant regulatory bodies, and should be validated with clinical trials and high-quality, accepted research.
Fortunately, regulatory processes are becoming more streamlined in major markets and are expected to continue doing so. The FDA recently launched its ‘Digital Health Software Precertification (Pre-Cert) Program’, reducing the regulatory burdens for DTx companies while still maintaining quality standards. However, the approval process for Digital Therapeutics is not a well-trodden path. Many platforms that have received FDA approval until this point have done so through the pathway designed for medical devices. Currently, there isn’t a pathway explicitly created for Digital Therapeutics; however, the FDA is in the process of developing one.
Therapy Areas Will Diversify
Two-thirds of all current and pipeline Digital Therapeutics products target neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the range of DTx indications is expected to continue evolving. Digital Therapeutics aren’t limited to specific therapy areas; they can be developed anywhere that there is an unmet need. Looking forward, mental health and neurological conditions will continue to be important but other chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiology are also key.
Sidekick Health, for example, has developed SK-241, a digital behavioral change program designed for people with metabolic derangements and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (DAFLD). The DTx startup Better Therapeutics, also recently completed a trial for BT-001, a prescription Digital Therapeutics which would be the first of its kind for patients with type 2 diabetes.
Artificial Intelligence Will Drive Success
Compared to other industries, healthcare has been far slower to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies – and for good reason. Healthcare is extremely personal, and it requires a level of human connection in order to build rapport and trust. While digital health solutions can never fully replace the key role of human connection in patient care, they can support and amplify the care given through traditional health visits.
Digital Therapeutics solutions that incorporate AI and machine learning algorithms to allow real-time interventions (such as an early diagnosis or treatment recommendations), are particularly effective. This technology is likely to become more sophisticated across the range of Digital Therapeutics. Cognoa, for example, recently gained FDA approval to detect autism in children. Through machine learning algorithms, the DTx startup analyzes videos of the child’s behavior and parental input to form a diagnosis. Ultimately, AI-enabled DTx places access to personal health data directly in the hands of the patient, and this is a Digital Therapeutics trend that is projected to continue.
Storm3 Are Here For You
At Storm3, we are Digital Therapeutics Recruiters dedicated to working with DTx startups and scale ups that are helping build a healthier world for all. If you’re looking to expand your Digital Therapeutics team, get in touch today! To learn more about the roles we hire for, see our specialisms page.