The digital health market has grown into a billion dollar industry, with new products popping up every single day with one singular hope – to help improve and reduce costs in healthcare. But what was once a subset of healthcare, “digital health” now has subcategories to help make clear up confusion about what certain products are aiming to do. Fitness, wellness, and a newer category: digital therapeutics.
Digital health vs. digital therapeutics
We joined the Digital Therapeutics Alliance in 2019 because felt the Dreem mission and product aligned well within therapeutics. But what exactly classifies a product under digital therapeutics?
Let’s start with digital health:
“Digital health includes technologies, platforms, and systems that engage consumers for lifestyle, wellness, and health-related purposes; capture, store or transmit health data; and/or support life science and clinical operations.”
What’s key to note about digital health products, they are not clinically validated. An example of this would be a lifestyle app or a fitness tracker.
Digital therapeutic “products deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease.” They require clinical evidence and real world outcomes. They can claim the following:
- Treat a disease: digital therapeutics that deliver a medical intervention to treat a disease.
- Manage a disease: Digital therapeutics that deliver a medical intervention to manage a disease.
- Improve a health function: Digital therapeutics that deliver a medical intervention to improve a health function and/or prevent a disease.
DTx products have more of an impact. They’re clinically validated, they are evidence-based and they have to be improving the health of someone.
Dreeming of a New Industry
What’s exciting about being a part of the alliance is that we are collaborating with other companies to help define the industry and truly separate products that are improving a health function versus those that are just helping track day-to-day activities.
People are taking healthcare into their own hands, which we’re excited to see! But we hope that in helping define the products that are on the market, it will help users better understand what is there to support them in tracking their health journey’s and what will actually improve the overall health of their life.
Healthcare is a huge, complicated industry, but with alliances and organizations like Digital Therapeutics Alliance, we’re starting to break it down to help people better understand what’s out there.
Article by Vik Panda, Dreem’s Managing Director for North America