Digital Therapeutics: Features, Costs, and Gains
With 17-year experience in the development of healthcare IT solutions, ScienceSoft offers comprehensive digital therapeutics consultancy and implementation services.
Digital Therapeutics: the Essence
Digital therapeutics (DTx) aims at addressing health conditions using specifically designed and clinically tested technologies. Digital therapy solutions provide the functionality to:
E.g., apps for patients with prediabetes.
E.g., an asthma management system that monitors medication adherence and identifies asthma triggers, AI-based coaches to treat substance addiction.
Digital therapy products vary from standalone apps to complex solutions that include patient-facing software and connected medical devices.
Here’s a sample architecture of a digital therapeutics solution with a doctor-facing app and a patient-facing app that targets patients with diabetes:
Doctor-facing app contains:
- List of patients with diabetes and their recent vitals (blood glucose, insulin intake, HbA1C).
- Notifications on abnormal health parameters.
- Treatment plan correction (basal insulin doses, diet, etc.).
- Lifestyle info and blood tests correlation analytics.
Patient-facing app contains:
- Reminders to log parameters (daily activity, exercise, diet).
- Bolus insulin calculator and doses programming.
- Chatbot to learn more about diabetes, low-sugar diet, etc.
- Blood glucose level and insulin tracking.
Treatment adherence monitoring
- Medication intake reminders for patients.
- Reminders for patients to log health parameters.
- Abnormal health parameters alerts for a patient and a doctor.
- Personalized health recommendations for patients (to exercise, to follow a specific diet, etc.).
Health data collection
- Automated health data entry from connected devices.
- Manual or voice recognition-powered health data entry and editing for patients.
- Lifestyle data entry (exercise, sleep, diet, water intake) by a patient.
Disease management for patients
- Virtual AI-based coaches that guide patients through recovery programs.
- Video guides (breathing exercise, panic attacks overcoming techniques, etc.)
- Patient-facing chatbots helping drive lifestyle changes (e.g., for cognitive and behavioral disorders, substance abuse).
- Therapy technologies (video-based reminiscence therapy, gamified attention improving therapy, etc.).
- Patients’ health parameters reports and trends visualization.
- Data-driven suggestions on treatment modifications.
- Drug uptake analytics to adjust the care plan.
- Chats for quick communication between a doctor and a patient.
- Telehealth functionality for remote digital health support.
- E-visit recordings history.
- Regulatory compliance (e.g., with HIPAA, FDA).
- Password-protected access through healthcare organization-owned or patient-owned devices.
Although DTx forms vary, they all need integrations with EHR/EMR, CRM, connected medical devices, and data analytics software.
- EHR or EMR (Electronic Health Records or Electronic Medical Records) - to store patient-generated health data and exchange a patient’s health history with a DTx solution.
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) - to adjust the treatment management according to the CRM-based interactions (e.g., recommending new educational materials) and to automatically update the patient info in CRM with the DTx solution’s data (e.g., number of digital therapy sessions).
- Connected medical devices - for automated vitals or medication intake collection from glucose meters, smart thermometers, etc.
- Data analytics software - to analyze patient-generated data, medication intake, and spot lifestyle and health parameters correlations.
What Determines DTx Software Success
An early working version of the software
Agile DTx software development allows you to certify the solution and start trials at an early stage, create focus groups, and get users’ feedback on product’s usability.
Similar to medicine intake, DTx solutions should be used properly and systematically to drive positive health outcomes.
Advanced data analytics
To provide physicians with consolidated patients’ health insights, not just a list of parameters, and guarantee that DTx-supported treatment leads to a patient’s health improvements.
Digital therapeutics solutions’ costs vary greatly depending on the complexity, expected features, and connection with medical devices. The investments range from $100,000 to $500,000, with an average payback period for a DTx solution of 1 year and an average ROI of 250%.
Key financial outcomes
- Reduced time per patient with a chronic condition.
- Improved healthcare outcomes due to continuous disease management.
- Reduced hospitalizations related to chronic diseases.
- Increased care access without workforce expansion.
When Custom DTx Solution Is Your Best Choice
Custom digital therapeutics development may be a preferred option for healthcare organizations aiming to:
Cover specific digital health needs (e.g., creating a DTx platform that consolidates 2-3 disease-specific solutions).
Cost-effectively enable multiple integrations of a DTx solution with an organization’s software ecosystem (EHR/EMR, HIS, LIS, CRM, Practice Management System, the IoMT cloud).
Provide branded UI that can be difficult or impossible to configure in ready-made DTx products.
Digital therapeutics consulting
- A business case with a DTx solution’s ROI.
- Outlined DTx solution’s architecture, features, and integrations.
- Defined tech stack.
- UI prototyping.
- Timing and costs estimations.
- Regulatory compliance consulting (HIPAA, HITECH, FDA, etc.).
Digital therapeutics implementation
- Digital health needs analysis, project planning, and design.
- DTx solution development and quality assurance.
- Integration with healthcare IT systems (EHR, CRM) and devices (glucose meter, insulin pumps, etc.).
- Ensured compliance with relevant regulations (HIPAA, HITECH, FDA, etc.).
- A DTx solution’s after-launch support and maintenance.
Headquartered in Texas, US, ScienceSoft provides quality IT services for the healthcare industry since 2005. Being ISO 13485-certified, we design and develop medical software according to the requirements of the FDA and the Council of the European Union. If you consider digital therapeutics to level up remote and inpatient care and improve health outcomes, engage our team for assistance.