Differences Between Digital Health & Digital Therapeutics Solution

Most people have a common misunderstanding between the digital therapeutics solution and digital health product. Technology aligned with DTx is widely used to deliver healthcare in major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc. Various digital health products diagnose, prevent and manage chronic health conditions. The devices that use technology to monitor health are wellness applications and wearable devices. However, not all digital health products work in the same manner. A few of them may have evidence-based benefits called digital therapeutics. Let us see both in detail and understand how they are unique.

A Detailed Insight on Digital Health Products & Its Uniqueness From Digital Therapeutics Solution

Digital health products help monitor the improvements related to a person's wellness and track fitness. It is an integral part of diagnosing, preventing and treating health problems as it gathers information about the patient. The information from digital health products helps identify the right treatment and solutions to diseases. However, not all digital health tools are the same, and a few support the treatment procedures beyond collecting patients' health information. Digital health is a broad category that uses technologies, including online platforms, to store and transmit health data. Unlike the digital therapeutics solution, digital health tools do not need any clinical evidence. They are not tagged as medical devices and not regulated by government bodies, as these products are safe to use without posing any risk to an individual's health.

Also Read: Solutions to Overcome Challenges & Barriers in DTx

Everything You Need to Know About the Digital Therapeutics Solution

Digital therapeutics is a branch of digital medicine used to prevent, manage and treat diseases. It can be combined with other treatments or used independently to provide the best results depending on the patient's condition. Any digital therapeutics solution must have clinical evidence so as to ensure safety as the products have higher risks. Thus, government agencies must regulate digital therapeutics products to ensure that they work without causing any problems. DTx has verified results with every treatment with the required authorisation and approvals to support its effectiveness.

Digital Health Vs. Digital Therapeutic Solution

Digital health encompasses digital medicine, which includes digital therapeutics. On the other hand, the digital therapeutics products have varying clinical evidence with different risk levels and therefore have varying regulatory guidelines. Digital health is the intersection of healthcare and technology. It serves the entire field with expert community and market intelligence. Whereas, the digital therapeutics solution employs high-quality software with evidence-based interventions to manage, prevent and treat a wide spectrum of mental, physical and behavioural disorders.

The manufacturers and developers of digital health tools pursue a significant strategy like the go-to-market of all their products. The consumers of digital health tools are people who seek the most functional digital purpose to track their health needs. They are:

    • Clinicians
    • Researchers
    • Payers
    • Health systems
    • Patients

Specifications

Digital health does not have a standard lexicon, and a common language separates most digital health disciplines. People in Chennai who are a part of the validation conversation know that each discipline has its own way of approaching in the digital health field. By categorising the framework, the product types or examples for the digital health are mentioned below.

For capturing, storing & displaying data:

  • User-facing technologies
  • Consumer health information
  • Health information technology

For transmitting data & information:

  • Enterprise support
  • Decision support software
  • Clinical care management & administration tools
  • Telehealth

In contrary, the product examples for digital therapeutics solution are software that delivers therapeutic intervention to treat and manage the disease to improve health and body function.

Ways to Use the Framework

The digital health products framework does not assign a hierarchy. The categories are associated with healthcare, advancement of health and health research. Different regulatory requirements and evidence govern digital therapeutic products.

The digital health tools transmit data and information through:

  1. Telehealth- This includes remote care programs without remote monitoring but involves telemedicine virtual visits.
  2. Decision support software- This presents the information for an independent clinician's review. These do not recommend other channels used by the patient other than the software.
  3. Enterprise support- The clinical trial management tools and operations belong here. They include trial management software and recruitment platforms.
  4. Clinical care administration & management tools- The tools included here are revenue cycle management tools, clinical staffing management tools and the length of stay monitoring and management tools.

On the other hand, the digital therapeutics solution has core principles and adheres to:

  • Delivering a software-driven medical intervention.
  • Employing best practices to design, manufacture and maintain quality.
  • Ensuring end-user engagement.
  • Implementing privacy and security protections.
  • Applying efficient practices for product maintenance and deployment.
  • Conducting clinical trials and publishing results.
  • Undergoing applicable regulatory reviews.
  • Making appropriate claims.
  • Utilising real-world outcomes.

Challenges Faced by Digital Health Products

Digital health products generally have no risk, but in a few instances, it is recorded that they pose a lesser grade of unique risks. As digital health products do not comply with government regulations, unlike the digital therapeutics solution, their efficacy is questionable. There are scenarios where digital health products are doubted for their standardised performances and safety features. The security and privacy concerns also transcend the digital health products' framework. With every digital health product, its ethical approach to data rights and economic feasibility are taken into consideration.

The Takeaway
With all the characterising, we must understand that it is necessary to categorise further digital health products based on their risks. Thus, it is always best to opt for a digital therapeutics solution as they provide the right course of treatment with evidence-based intervention to manage the disease. Digital health products just act as an indicator of any deviation from good health. Most importantly, it is essential to create awareness about digital therapeutics among healthcare professionals in urban areas like Chennai so that it reaches out to the majority of the population in need of its service.

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