Digital Therapeutics (DTx): a disease treatment using digital technology
In December 2017 the Food and Drug Administration licensed the first Digital Therapeutics (DTx) solution to treat alcohol and drug abuse. During 2018 several other DTx followed to help patient suffering for post traumatic stress disorders and other mental diseases.
Digital therapeutics form an independent category of evidence-based products within the broader digital health landscape, and are distinct from pure-play adherence, diagnostic, and telehealth products.
DTx offer therapeutic intervention to prevent, manage and treat a broad spectrum of physical and mental conditions. In a DTx solution, software is the key ingredient of the treatment and during the clinical trials, exactly the software has been tested to show its impact on the disease prognosis. This is what distinguishes this category from the broader term digital health.
DTx might offer new therapy options for patients fearing social stigma if using traditional treatments (i.e. anti-depressants), for patients living in remote areas with no professionals available to support and to whom in need of avoiding early medicalization (i.e. paediatric patients). These new approaches will challenge several existing processes of drug prescription, pharmacovigilance as well as distribution and supply chain.