Digital Therapeutics and mhealth Apps
Updated: Jul 18
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The necessity for digital therapies is rapidly growing in the clinical field as many healthcare systems deal with increased demands for quality outcomes. The Global Digital Therapeutics market had a USD 2.3 billion share in 2020. By 2030, it is anticipated to reach USD 35.78 billion, indicating a CAGR of 31.4%.
Mobile digital technology is increasingly being used in clinical settings. According to estimates, 80% of adults worldwide had smartphones by the year 2020, reflecting the extraordinary expansion of access to technology. Numerous facets of our life are being impacted by this development, including communication, finances, education, and healthcare. Healthcare professionals and patients are able to monitor and manage both acute and chronic diseases because of technological advancements.
Digital therapeutics consists of digital technology to improve the effectiveness of care, including robotics and artificial intelligence, genomics, mobile phone applications, and telemedicine.
In many nations, stroke is the main cause of persistent disability and mortality. Reduced neuroplasticity—or the brain's ability to reorganise itself to recover from functional impairments—is a consequence of stroke-related brain damage. The learning and practice involved in this process are incremental and ongoing. The goal of rehabilitation therapy, which includes progressive training, is to stimulate brain neurons so that they remain active and develop neuroplasticity. Through encouraging neuroplasticity to create new connections within the brain, it seeks to help patients regain their function.
Cognitive Function Interventions
Attention, working memory, and executive skills like problem-solving and planning are the main targets of today's cognitive rehabilitation techniques, which include traditional exercises utilising pencil and paper with the help of therapists and computer-assisted training. Restitution rehabilitation primarily addresses compromised cognitive functions and recovers cognitive functions through repeated practice. Rehabilitation through compensation lessens the impact of cognitive impairment on functional capacities, and training is geared toward completing daily living activities.
Through increased awareness and by adjusting to functional loss, patients are taught to reduce demands on damaged functions. Memory rehabilitation, in particular, emphasizes compensation training; it shows patients how to use both internal (like mnemonics and mental imagery) and external (like keeping lists and diaries) assistance to help them recall key information.
VR-based treatment methods
It is necessary to employ VR for cognitive rehabilitation because there are not enough controlled studies and VR training options. The interactive semi-immersive program (I-SIP) was used in VR training with BTs-Nirvana to produce a number of interactive tasks that target executive function, attention, memory, and spatial cognition. In order to create a dynamic engagement in a virtual environment, VR-programmed movements that correspond to virtual touch attempt to move or manipulate particular items in different directions.
Over 10,000 language exercises are included in the Step-by-step computer program (Steps Consulting Ltd., South Gloucestershire, UK), which starts with listening to target words, then generates words with visual, semantic, and phonemic signals for writing words or creating sentences. The effectiveness of self-managed computer therapies for people with chronic post-stroke aphasia was the subject of an experiment. It was shown that patients who underwent Step-by-step training improved their naming skills more than those who received conventional speech and language treatment.
Digital Therapeutics – Modern-day Digital Engineers
Innovative solutions from software engineers are supported by the USFDA. The more recent choices for patients are called digital therapies (DTx). These effective disease prevention, management, and treatment strategies are powered by mobile-friendly, high-quality software applications. They give individualized solutions and are supported by AI. They can be just as effective as prescription medicines if they are supported by scientific research.
Some notable DTx include Leva for urinary incontinence, Deprexis for depression, Bluestar for managing diabetes, and Nerivio for migraines.
In India, over 21% of senior people have a chronic ailment. 68% of all chronic diseases are caused by hypertension and diabetes. DTx therapies have shown to be effective in treating, managing, and preventing chronic diseases, and they may be especially helpful to developing countries.
The cost of producing DTx is significantly lower than that of creating a new pharmacological entity. Compared to medications, DTX benefits more from economies of scale. DTx will show to be a financially sensible investment.
However, for DTx to be successful, the sector needs to do much more. The following 4+4 Ps must work together for this industry to get off to a strong start: To ensure the correct product with concrete proof, price, and promotion, the policymakers, business partners, physicians, and the pharmaceutical sector must work together.