Digital therapeutics in demand, but support needed from payers

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Digital therapeutics can be used to prevent, manage or treat diseases—particularly chronic conditions—but their widespread use is stalled for lack of reimbursement from private and public payers.

According to a new study by data and analytics company GlobalData, entitled, “Digital Therapeutics and Their Impact on Healthcare,” there is a growing number of digital therapeutics (DTx) being developed on the global market and in the pipeline for development, following internationally recognized, quality, design and manufacturing standards.

The report is based on research by a cross-specialty panel of experts with in-house analysis, and it provides an assessment of the DTx development landscape in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the U.S., Japan and China, GlobalData says.

DTx, defined by the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA) as, “delivering evidence based therapeutic interventions to patients, that are driven by high quality software programs to prevent, manage or treat a medical disorder or disease,” can be used independently or with medications, devices or other therapies to treat patients and optimize care and outcomes.

DTx is appealing because it gives patients the opportunity to learn more about their conditions and treatment options and how to manage their own health and disease conditions, GlobalData says.

With an increase in healthcare spending and a decline in research and development returns, more pharmaceutical companies are turning to DTx as a potential way to meet healthcare needs and contain costs, says Alessio Brunello, a pharma analyst at GlobalData. “DTx implementation is designed to fill that need to deliver reliable, evidenced-based interventions with a high control of the quality of personalized care based on individual patients’ needs,” he says.

DTx can also help speed up clinical trials and create “a more fit-for-purpose approach” by improving recruitment and retention of patients, according to Brunello.

Interest in value-based care and patient-centered care is overall driving the adoption of DTx, Brunello says, especially as payers are more and more are using data analytics to manage healthcare costs and to help match patients with the most efficient and appropriate care.

But despite the potential DTx has for reducing healthcare spending, increasing trial efficacy and improving patients’ health, the industry still faces challenges before this type of therapy becomes an everyday part of modern healthcare, Brunello says. The bottom line is, there needs to be better alignment between providers, pharmaceutical companies and payers.

The report can be accessed here for a fee.

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