3 Novel Applications of Digital Therapeutics That’ll Surprise You
The digital revolution that began at the start of this millennium has given out tremendous results and outcomes. Digital therapeutics is one such technology which has transformed the medical world. Digital therapeutics has completely changed the way chronic ailments have been treated until now. With high-end software solutions and systems, digital therapeutics offers evidence based medical solutions which help in treating of many diseases such as diabetes and ADHD. The varied applicability of digital therapeutics has further made it a very crucial component of treatment and rehabilitation procedures.
Fruits of IT Revolution taste sweeter when we see our lives changing dramatically due to it. One click and one can connect with his friends and family sitting on the other side of the planet. One click and one can watch his favorite sports game taking place thousands of miles away from his home. Many such similar services have come up in the last two decades which would have been considered impossible in the last century. The world has truly been revolutionized and in this age of software nothing seems to be impossible.
Each and every sector and industry has been affected by this digital revolution. The medical field, many opine, is in the leading position in this criterion. The sheer scale of change that medical world has witnessed, especially in the last few years, has been astonishing to say the least. Today, complex medical operations such as organ transplant are done over digital platforms wherein the chief doctor is sitting, say, somewhere in Asia while his medical team is performing the operation in Europe. This technique, which is known as telemedicine, has changed the way medical procedures were performed. Apart from telemedicine, one such technology which is poised to revamp the medical world is digital therapeutics.
Digital therapeutics is a branch or subtype of digital health which deals with evidence-based medical interventions facilitated by high-end software programs and similar technologies. The main aim of digital therapeutics is obviously to diagnose and treat a medical condition, and help in early rehabilitation of the patient. Digital therapeutics, hence, are generally used parallelly with regular medications so as to enhance the effect of these techniques. Digital therapeutics has now been extensively used in treating diseases and ailments like Alzheimer’s disease, congestive heart failure, asthma, anxiety, ADHD, diabetes, substance abuse, etc.
Applications of Digital Therapeutics
Digital therapeutics has been, after extensive research in the past decade, proven to be extremely helpful in treating of chronic ailments in a subtle way. Given here are some applications of these techniques:
- Remote Medical Guidance:
Remote medical guidance sub-type of digital therapeutics includes doctors and medical experts offering guidance remotely based on the queries of the patient. Remote medical guidance also includes medical experts seeking to introduce behavioral change in the patients so as to make them adopt a better and healthy lifestyle. In one experiment done in the US, a group of patients diagnosed with diabetes were enrolled in one such remote medical guidance program wherein the health experts actively guided and mentored each patient on a regular basis for a substantial time-span of three years. At the end of this period, a significant reduction in blood sugar level was observed among these patients.
- Digital Drugs:
Many a times, it has been observed that patients, either consciously or unconsciously, refrain from taking the prescribed medications. This has led to severe consequences, even death, in many cases. In US alone, huge number of deaths have been reported due to abstention or irregular intake of medications. In order to combat this problem, digital therapeutics has provided a solution in the form of digital drugs wherein a periodic reminder of sorts is given to the patient so that he can adhere to the prescribed schedule. Also, a system or a software has been created which can engage with a patient to convince him to take the medication regularly if the patient is deliberately abstaining from doing so. This engagement is aimed at explaining the cons of avoiding medications and the effect it can have on the body. A new technology is also being devised, wherein the drug itself will transmit electronic signals to the system upon consumption.
- Mental Health Treatment:
Probably the most important application of digital therapeutics and related techniques is treatment of disorders related to mental health. The growing number of mental health related cases and the shortage of specialists in this field has led to digital therapeutics taking charge to deal with such disorders. Coupled with technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), digital therapeutics monitor the symptoms related to mental health disorders and recommend future course of action accordingly. The data collected by these software systems further helps to treat other patients who suffer from similar medical conditions.
Future of Digital Therapeutics
The technology involved in building these state-of-the-art systems is in a quite nascent stage. Hence, a lot of research and development is needed so as to refine this technology. Key players of this market have invested heavily in such research and development which is expected to boost the level of ‘smartness’ of these systems in coming years. The fact that medical experts around the world are betting on this technology with high confidence makes it amply clear that the future of digital therapeutics is quite bright and exciting.
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