All health systems throughout the world are under incredible cost pressure; digital health and digital therapeutics are perfectly placed to meet that seemingly impossible task of increasing quality of care while reducing costs and handling a population’s health. Consumer habits are the driver of this change and any digital therapeutics that is able to influence users into health-oriented lifestyle shall make that long waited impact.
Digital Therapeutics AI platforms have made ample progress over the past decade, harnessing technology to supplement or potentially replace traditional clinical therapy. Some devices complement traditional treatment by helping patients manage their condition, including informing when and how much medication to take. And some offer alternative treatments to drugs, such as sensory stimuli delivered through a tablet computer to manage insomnia or depression.
Importantly, digital therapeutics tend to target conditions that are poorly addressed by the traditional healthcare system, such as chronic diseases or mental health. In addition, they can often deliver treatment at a fraction of the cost of any traditional therapy by reducing demands on clinicians’ time.
A pharma company specializing in autoimmune chronic disease is looking for solutions to generate a more personalized and holistic experience for patients suffering from chronic diseases in a world where many patients needs are still not addressed by the healthcare system.
Improving patient experience is key to building patient preference and loyalty, and today the experience needs to be highly personalized:
- How can we engage HCPs when sales representatives aren’t on-site/available?
- How can we gather better quality patient feedback?
- How can we better assess patient needs across multiple dimensions such as medical, lifestyle or psychological needs and recommend solutions based on the results of this assessment?
An AI Personalized Health Coach to guide, educate, monitor, collect and analyze patient feedback incorporating the medical treatment in their lifestyle with medication adherence reminders based on the user’s behavior (for example, automatically adapting the night reminder with user’s habits to got to sleep to maximize compliance).
Consumers are more and more interested in drug-free solutions. Unfortunately, it’s a frustratingly common scenario that your doctor sends you off with your diagnosis — but no nutrition advice or lifestyle changes that can make your autoimmune condition easier to navigate. For example, autoimmune disease flare-ups are often related to inflammation. By keeping inflammation down, your patient will go longer between autoimmune attacks. The foods they eat can make a remarkable difference in the frequency and severity of autoimmune flare-ups. Small, steady dietary changes can help them feel like their best possible self.
Digital therapeutics present a valuable opportunity for healthcare, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, transforming the way they develop or market products. Collecting real-world evidence in support of patient outcomes and economic value has long been a challenge for those seeking market access for their products. But digital therapeutics offer insights into how medicine is consumed and real-time data on its impact. A digital intervention can be tracked, so performance-based models, outcome-linked and anchored payments can be applied easier, aligns incentives to help the user get back to their life as cheaply and quickly as possible, the payer is managing risk and getting a significant return on investment per outcome. For example, the payer would reimburse more if the patient used the therapeutic as intended (compliance) and especially if it prevented readmission or repeat intervention in a given amount of time preventative value.
Emerging evidence should encourage more interest in the concept of chronotherapy — scheduling treatments so that they provide the most help and do the least harm. More than four decades of studies describe how accounting for the body’s cycle of daily rhythms — its circadian clock — can influence responses to medications and procedures for everything from asthma to epileptic seizures.
Research suggests that the majority of today’s best-selling drugs, including heartburn medications and treatments for erectile dysfunction, work better when taken at specific times of day. Specialists at INSERM, the French national biomedical research agency have found that the timing is sometimes more important than the dose.
Yet chronotherapy, sometimes called chronomedicine, remains at the fringes of clinical practice and drug-development programmes. In some ways, chronotherapy could represent another arm in the effort to individualize treatments. In the field of personalized medicine, adding this dimension of time could make a tremendous difference.