As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, so does the way that patients receive care. One of the latest trends in healthcare is digital therapeutics, which is the use of technology to improve patient outcomes.
This emerging field has the potential to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered, and there are a number of ways that it can benefit your practice. As of 2018, digital therapeutics is still a growing field that medical professionals, students, and patients are starting to use.
This article will take a look at digital therapeutics and what it can offer. It will also offer some helpful tips for integrating digital therapies into your practice.
What Is Digital Therapeutics
Digital therapeutics is the use of technology to help improve medical outcomes and care delivery for patients. The digital world is continually evolving, and it’s important for healthcare professionals to keep up with these changes. By utilizing the latest technologies in their practice, they can provide better care and engage with their patients in a new way.
One of the major benefits of using digital therapeutics is that it can help your patients improve their self-management skills. It can also allow them to better manage their conditions on their own while they continue to receive the support of a licensed healthcare professional.
Digital Therapeutics Alliance
The Digital Therapeutics Alliance is a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of digital health technologies to improve health outcomes. Digital therapeutics companies are developing new ways to use technology to treat diseases and improve patient care. Mental health is one area where digital therapeutics can have a significant impact.
Why Should Healthcare Professionals Invest in Digital Therapeutics
Over the last seven years, investments in digital-therapeutics companies in the United States have increased by an average of 40% per year, totaling more than $1 billion.
There are a number of reasons why healthcare professionals should invest in digital therapeutics. Here are just a few:
1. Reduce Your Costs
Digital therapeutics, on the other hand, can be deployed at a fraction of the cost. There are also no additional annual costs associated with maintaining these digital therapies. As addressed by the Promise of Digital Therapeutics panellists, one alternative channel that may gain traction is that of a “digital storefront” where insurers display verified applications that they may be prepared to finance within an insurance plan.
2. Increase Engagement and Improve Patient Outcomes
Digital therapeutics is more engaging than traditional care because patients and healthcare professionals can now connect digitally. This new connection means they’re able to spend more time together and that patient are more likely to get involved in their own care.
3. Reduce Administrative Workload
The administrative overhead for practice can really add up, especially when it comes to tracking patient records and ensuring payment accuracy. Minimal administrative work can be done via digital therapeutics. In addition, new information technology solutions can make it easier for providers to share clinical notes and give patients access to their files from anywhere.
4. Improve Patient Experience
Digital therapeutics allow patients to engage with their healthcare professionals in a new way. This means that your patients will feel more connected with you, and they will also be more likely to return for follow-up treatment sessions.
How Can You Implement Digital Therapeutics in Your Practice
There are a number of ways you can incorporate digital therapeutics into your practice, and here are six of them:
1. Use Technology to Improve Patient Screening and Feedback
Use technology to ensure that patients are given the right information about their conditions, as well as the right type of treatment. This will reduce the time your patients spend on a waiting list and it will also improve the quality of care they receive while they’re on your waiting list.
2. Use Technology to Reduce Costs
Digital therapeutics can help reduce half of the healthcare costs because it reduces upfront expenses related to drug development and drug administration. Many providers are also able to avoid many other costly expenses associated with traditional drugs and medical treatments by utilizing digital therapeutics.
3. Use Technology to Increase Engagement
As we’ve mentioned, patient engagement is one of the biggest benefits of using digital therapeutics. By using technology to connect with patients, you can make them feel more involved in their care and improve the way they understand their condition.
4. Use Technology to Improve Patient Outcomes
Digital therapeutics can help improve patient outcomes because it allows patients to better manage their conditions on their own. This improved self-management means fewer follow-up appointments are needed and more patients are capable of managing topics on their own, including adverse effects and side effects, or communicating with a healthcare professional regarding changes in medications or treatments.
5. Use Technology to Improve Administrative Workload
With minimal administrative work, a practice can reduce its administrative overhead. As they continue to use technology in their practice, they’ll also be able to offer the same level of digital therapeutics to their patients as they do traditional treatments.
6. Use Technology to Offer New Services
Most digital therapeutics are delivered via an online portal that provides access for healthcare professionals and patients alike. This means that providers can offer new services such as online discussions and online health coaching without any additional infrastructure costs
What is a Digital Therapeutic Device
Digital solutions are also a growing possibility, as evidenced by the total investment in digital therapies, which has surpassed $600 million to date. A digital therapeutic device refers to any software or hardware that helps improve the health of a patient using digital therapeutics.
Examples of digital therapeutic devices include:
1. Mobile health applications
Mobile health applications can provide patients with access to their medical records, records management, and electronic medication delivery solutions through their mobile device. The Food and Drug Administration approved Akili Interactive’s video game to increase attention in children with ADHD in 2020.
2. Digital health dashboards
Digital health dashboards are a powerful way to help patients manage their chronic conditions by providing them with access to electronic information about their conditions and treatments. Patients can also use dashboard monitors to track their treatment progress in real time.
3. Electronic medication delivery
Electronic medication delivery can help patients save time, improve their outcomes, and allow them to feel more involved in their treatment by allowing them to remotely refill and renew medications.
4. Digital therapeutics (DTx)
Digital therapeutics (DTx) are evidence-based therapeutic interventions that use digital technology to improve patient outcomes. DTx are designed to be used by healthcare providers to improve patient care and treatment adherence.
As information technology continues to develop, we will see even more benefits come from this innovative approach to healthcare treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Therapeutics
Digital therapeutics is a new way of treating patients using information technology. Digital therapeutics can improve patient outcomes by providing patients with easy access to healthcare professionals via online interactions. It also allows healthcare professionals to spend less time on administrative work and more time interacting directly with their patients.
The benefits of digital therapeutics include:
1. Improved Patient Satisfaction
Patients who use digital therapeutics report higher levels of satisfaction than those who do not. This is because they are able to track their progress, given that they have more information about their condition, and they can get answers to any questions they have at a time that works well with their schedule.
2. Improved Patient Outcomes
Digital therapeutics has been shown to improve patient outcomes, particularly for those with chronic conditions. In addition, the length of hospital stays are significantly reduced when patients use digital therapeutics on a regular basis.
3. Improved Financial Outcomes
Digital therapeutics have been shown to reduce healthcare costs and improve the financial outcomes of the providers who use them. This is because digital therapeutics can reduce the number of time patients spend on long waiting lists and can also help providers better manage difficult chronic conditions.
According to an investor presentation, the average price for Akili’s game-based treatment, EndeavorRx, is $247 in cash and $387 when reimbursed.
5. Improved Physician Outcomes
Digital therapeutics have been shown to improve the physical outcomes of those who use it because it allows healthcare professionals to better monitor their patients, monitor the effectiveness of their treatments and reduce treatment time for patients.
What are the Potential Risks Associated with Digital Therapeutics
While digital therapeutics have been shown to improve the financial and clinical outcomes of patients, it also comes with a few risks:
1. Increased Administrative Workload
While one of the main benefits of digital therapeutics is that it allows healthcare professionals to spend less time on administrative work and more time directly interacting with patients, it can actually increase a healthcare professional’s administrative workload if they are not using technology solutions to help them manage their administrative tasks.
2. Increased Risk of Privacy Issues
Digital therapeutics comes with increased privacy issues because records must be stored digitally in order for patients to access them online. If a healthcare professional does not have the proper security precautions in place, this could result in patients sharing their healthcare records with unauthorized people.
3. Increased Risk of Data Breaches
Healthcare data is more vulnerable than ever to security breaches and data loss incidents, which has led to several high-profile data breaches of medical records over the past few years. Healthcare professionals need to be extra diligent in maintaining their systems to prevent data loss and other types of cybersecurity issues.
Future of Digital Therapies
The current trend in the digital therapeutics market is the development of new types of digital therapeutics that can be used on mobile devices. In addition, smartphone technologies are continuing to advance, and healthcare professionals may soon find that they are able to provide their patients with mobile apps for self-care.
A new digital therapy software has been clinically evaluated in a randomized controlled trial and found to be effective in disease control. The software, which is based on an artificial intelligence platform, was developed by a team of researchers from Stanford University. The clinical validation of the software was conducted at the Stanford Medicine Center for Digital Health.
In order to continue innovating, the healthcare industry must make sure it is staying at the forefront of information technology so that it can continue improving patient outcomes and financial outcomes.
As companies such as Apple, Inc., Google and Microsoft continue to push forward with more innovations in this space, healthcare professionals will find themselves relying more heavily on these technologies to improve outcomes and reduce costs.