i3 - May/June 2018 - 32

therapeutics are a new category of apps
D  igital
that help treat diseases by modifying patient

behavior and providing remote monitoring to
improve long-term health outcomes. These apps
can help hypertension patients lower their blood
pressure, reduce dependence on opioids for those
with chronic pain, and help diabetics monitor their
blood sugar.
"For blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, obesity
- lifestyle-related chronic illnesses - the foundation
of good care is behavioral change," says dermatologist Dr. Joseph Kvedar, vice president of connected
health at Partners HealthCare in Boston and a
board member of the Personal Connected Health
Alliance. Digital therapeutics is an especially powerful tool when it sends personalized messages that
motivate people to make healthier choices, he adds.
The digital therapeutics market is forecast to
grow from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.4 billion by
2025, according to Grand View Research Inc. The
increase is driven by improving technology and
data algorithms, the openness of patients using and
wearing technology, and research showing the
effectiveness of technology in improving health.
An aging population means more health care will
be needed. Technology can ease some of that
demand if patients use it to cut down on office visits, says Kvedar. A congestive heart failure patient,
for instance, can be monitored remotely and then

Key Barriers
to the Uptake
of Digital
Therapeutics

Low physician awareness of available
digital therapeutics

20%

50%

Low physician knowledge/understanding
of when to use digital therapeutics

10

45

Payer reluctance to reimburse

20

45

Presumed lack of patient knowledge/
understanding of digital therapeutics

10

32

Health care practitioners cite
payer reluctance to reimburse
as one barrier, but physician
awareness and knowledge also
factor significantly.

Lack of clinical evidence of effectiveness

14

30

Data security/privacy concerns

7

22

Institutional reluctance

7

19

Presumed lack of patient capability
to use digital therapeutics

7

19

Patient reluctance

2

17

Availability of user-friendly/
intuitive solutions

7

15

Ranked top barrier
Ranked in top three barriers

32

check in by phone with nurses, reducing both medical expenses and hospital visits.
"Mobile adoption, cloud computing and our
willingness to give information as consumers, has
created a sweet spot" for digital therapeutics, says
Erez Gavish, co-founder and CEO of 2breathe
Technologies Ltd. in Tel Aviv. That doesn't mean
replacing all doctor visits. Gavish says, "Digital
therapeutics is helping you comply with the regimen a physician has supplied."
Digital therapeutics refers to technology that
improves a person's health similarly to a drug
but without the costs and side effects of pharmaceuticals. They can be used in combination
with drugs or instead of them. "It covers everything from an app to augmented virtual reality,"
says Kinsey Fabrizio, CTA senior director of
member engagement.
A patient with dementia, for instance, could benefit from a virtual reality walk in the park. Dr.
Michael Hodgkins, chief medical officer of the
American Medical Association agrees that technology can help doctors reach patients "in the wild"
since office visits only provide a brief snapshot.
With hypertension, for instance, success rates of
controlling blood pressure through traditional
approaches have been too low.
"The challenge is finding the right balance
between the use of these technologies and the

MAY/JUNE 2018

Source: CTA Market Research

I T I S I N N O VAT I O N



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