Himachal Mukhopadhyay stays on top of growing trends in the healthcare industry and shares his decades of insights with readers to help convey how breakthroughs affect them. In addition to AI and robotics taking the industry by storm, he comments on the up-and-coming connectivity that the digital therapeutics industry provides.
When Himachal Mukhopadhyay entered the healthcare industry years ago, consumer technology was only just beginning to blossom. Today, professionals are using consumer and advanced technology together to connect healthcare patients and medical practitioners better than ever. One subset of this advanced use of technology is called digital therapeutics, which is proving to have profound benefits for both sides.
The emerging digital therapeutics industry is largely used to augment (and, in some scenarios, replace) drugs in the treatment of disease and illness. More and more companies are producing hardware and software to help integrate better connections between patients and physicians, with billions of dollars being poured into research and development each year.
“As more distributors and healthcare providers jump on board with digital therapeutics, the opportunities continue expanding,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “This means more device approvals and upgrades in regulatory structures, which in turn make digital therapeutics even more common, widespread, and hopefully affordable.”
In digital therapeutics, technology is leveraged to help patients make changes in behavior, provide medical professionals with real-time insights and diagnostics, and give employers novel tools that more effectively manage beneficiaries’ health. Connected devices act as nurses, remote monitors, and more to help treat diabetes, illnesses, central nervous system disorders and plenty of other conditions.
“With digital therapeutic technology, physicians get updated models on their patients’ health which, combined with existing data, can result in faster and more improved solutions,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “This essential upgrade is helping us make more educated remedies and more specialized solutions in real-time without having to wait for years of trials and research. It’s much more than remote monitoring through smartphones, though that seems to be what most people think of.”
Digital therapeutics is unlike traditional wellness apps or devices that prompt users to take their medications. They require rigorous clinical evidence to substantiate their use and the intended impact they have on patient health. Many times, they come as a preventative measure for patients who may be at risk of developing more harmful conditions. For example, doctors may prescribe diabetes patients with digital therapeutics technology to alter their behavior or diet which, if left unchecked, could lead to a diabetes diagnosis.
A range of devices and software are used in conjunction to monitor at-risk patients and manage their symptoms, helping to avoid major illnesses. Digital therapeutics may employ computers, smartphones, sensors, applications, and various IoT devices to create a stronger connection between patients and healthcare providers.
“We’re only just scratching the surface on how advances in tech can create more personal and specialized care to patients around the world,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “But this is undoubtedly the next big thing in healthcare.”