Company Updates,Diabetes Management,Digital Therapeutics

Powerful Partnerships! Doctors Team Up With Digital Therapeutics Companies Across the World

Dr Lakshmi Vaswani ,
December 2021

Is it an app?

Is it software?

Is it a service?

In this article you will read about:

No, it’s Digital Therapeutics!

Digital Therapeutics (DTx) may be a relatively new model of healthcare services in India, but there are already thousands of health and fitness applications in the market, that claim to provide great outcomes for patients. However, how many of them have outcomes that are clinically validated? 

A DTx platform is a product that is software-driven, evidence-based and aims to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disease.

According to the  DTx Alliance, these interventions can be used independently or combined with medications, devices, or other therapies, with the goal of optimizing outcomes for our patients. 

Why is Digital Therapeutics poised to flourish?

It’s all about – Access, Convenience, and Efficacy!

  1. As a digital service, DTx platforms can collect and analyze data, provide recommendations and interact with both healthcare providers and their patients. 
  2. It provides services that are scalable, so we deliver better care, with fewer resources
  3. It can extend the physicians’ reach by overcoming time, place, and personnel constraints that limit healthcare delivery. 
  4. It can alleviate the hidden costs of managing a chronic illness like traveling to clinics or care centers or the loss of pay of the caregivers. DTx can offer them extended care from the comfort of their own homes, which boosts patient compliance to treatments as well. 
  5. We can leverage the power of face-to-face interactions with medical professionals but make them accessible to a larger population, thereby affecting patient behavioral change on a large scale. 

The buzz around digital therapeutics is growing, as medical communities worldwide, are rapidly adopting these solutions in their practices. In India, we are making great headways in the implementation of DTx in routine practice, but there are some common misconceptions that need to be addressed. 

Read on as we bust 5 Myths about Digital Therapeutics!

1. Myth: DTx is a very recent innovation.

Fact: The concept of using digital methods to deliver healthcare interventions has been around since the early 2000s. The term “digital therapeutics” created waves in 2015, and the field has grown considerably since then. 

Trailblazers in the DTx Space include Omada Health in San Francisco, California, which is recognized by the CDC and has met the evidence-based standards of the National diabetes prevention program

Another popular platform, Livongo is a pioneer in Applied Health Signals, translating data into actionable and timely signals. They partnered with Amazon, Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit to apply their health data to various customer interfaces. 

They also published a retrospective analysis of 10,000 patients in the  Journal of Medical Economics when working with pharma giant Eli Lilly, which revealed that Livongo’s diabetes program can prevent $88 worth of medical spending per person per month. Another study evaluated Livongo members who experienced an average 18.4% decrease in hypoglycemia and an average 16.4% decrease in hyperglycemia in months 2-12 compared with the first month as the baseline. 

2. Myth: DTx works only for chronic, metabolic conditions.

Fact: Although the most common applications are in lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart health, their applications can also be seen in various other conditions, like obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, asthma, substance abuse, ADHD, hypertension, anxiety, depression, or burnout. 

3. Myth: Dtx is still at an experimental stage

Fact: The value of the global DTx market is estimated at USD 1.8 billion in 2018, which is expected to reach USD 7.1 billion by 2025. This points to major investments made globally and indicates the promise of growth in Dtx. 

In fact, in countries like the United States, insurers are reimbursing patient claims based on digital therapeutics. This mirrors the overall positive global outlook on digital health.

In a study conducted by insurance giant Clarivate, it was revealed that 25% of their partner healthcare organizations currently provide coverage for DTx, while another 45% expressed interest in providing coverage soon. US’ Medicare announced that healthcare providers would be able to bill for remote health visits in the same way as in-person visits during the pandemic.

In Europe, the EU’s existing digitalization agenda (Digital Europe) has been reinforced with a stronger focus on health and healthcare, with the EU set to invest €5.3bn through EU4Health, while in the UK, the recently created NHSX aims to be, a bridge between healthcare and technology.

4. Myth: Patient data is unsafe with DTx companies

Fact –  Dtx platforms have regulatory requirements to protect their patient’s data. They undertake proactive measures like: 

  • Restricting access to data and its applications
  • Implementing data usage controls
  • Encrypting data
  • Securing mobile devices
  • Conducting regular risk assessments
  • Utilizing off-site data backup

5. Myth: DTx is not regulated

Fact: India has made tremendous progress in defining regulations for the application of digital health in recent years. The introduction of the National Digital Health Blueprint and the guidelines for telemedicine in 2020, provided regulatory approval from the authorities and defined standards among various stakeholders. 

However, we still have a long way to go.

At Fitterfly, we recognize the challenge of validating DTx and we are so pleased that our efforts to do so, through peer-reviewed papers and presentations, led to great results over the last few years. Our clinical trials provide supporting evidence of the safety and efficacy of DTx in the Indian context. 

Papers and research conducted by Fitterfly –

Diabefly outcomes presented at:
International Diabetes Federation (IDF-2021)
RSSDI – 2021
Diabetes Therapy, 2021
AACE 2020
US ENDO 2021
ESI 2020
Chellaram International Diabetes Summit 2020

Considering how fast the field of Digital Therapeutics is growing, and the myriad of opportunities it offers, we invite you to find out more about our product and services for your patients. We would also welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you in conducting your own research, as you use our platform. Please feel free to reach out to us through the details given below. 

Phone: 9769240096/ 7702699722



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