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Digital medicine key to revolutionise patient health outcomes: GlobalData

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Patient trust and regulatory concerns can act as roadblocks but rigorous testing of digital medicine products/services and protection of patient privacy can push digital medicine to the forefront

With the shift from volume-based care to value-based care, digital medicine is increasingly becoming crucial to improve patient health outcomes. Against the backdrop, healthcare companies are leveraging mobile technologies to empower patients for better disease management on their own and improve quality of life, says GlobalData.

Commenting on the evolution in digital medicine initiatives, Venkata Naveen, Senior Disruptive Tech Analyst, GlobalData said “From disease detection with sensor-bearing pills to smart wearables for disease management, digital medicine is offering a DIY approach to help patients understand, diagnose and treat diseases using a smartphone. Digital medicine initiatives launched by healthcare companies evolved from being simple medication adherence reminding tools to treatment managers offering more personalised and comprehensive patient care.”

The Innovation Explorer Database of GlobalData’s Disruptor Intelligence Center reveals various US-based healthcare companies using digital medicine to help patients improve their health outcomes.

Wearable tech startup NightWare received FDA’s De Novo clearance for Apple Watch and associated iPhone app to improve the sleep quality of patients suffering with nightmare disorders. Sensors in the watch track the wearer’s heart rate and body movements to establish a baseline. Thereafter, an AI algorithm spots any abnormalities caused by a nightmare as they sleep. The watch delivers gentle nudges to interrupt a user’s nightmare without waking them.

Smart pills maker CapsoVision launched its ingestible camera pill ‘CapsoCam Plus’ for remote and at-home use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients can ingest the pill and carryout normal activities, where it captures 360-degree images of the small intestine. The images are then reviewed by physicians to spot bleeding, ulcers and signs of celiac disease.

Maternity care startup Babyscripts reduces the need for in-person prenatal visits using a mobile health and remote patient monitoring app myJourney. The app delivers tailored content to patients on a regular basis to support them through their pregnancy with tips related to exercises, nutrition and healthy behaviour.

Pharma company Takeda designed an interactive mobile app ‘Being Patient: Multiple Myeloma’ to give users profound understanding of what everyday life of patients with the disease looks like. The app provides info on the disease, diagnosis and management though story narration and educational videos, which illustrates the experience of multiple myeloma patients.

Virtual care services provider ‘Doctor On Demand’ partnered with in-home care professional network CareLinx to help elderly avail healthcare through its telehealth app. Virtual physician visits via the app can be used to treat common ailments like rashes, cold, flu as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.

Naveen concludes that digital medicine can not only help patients with disease detection and management but also capture their behavioural information to enable researchers accelerate new drug development in the long run. He points out how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic reiterated the need for digital medicine, where the market is flooded with mobile apps to help patients manage the disease and improve at-home care.

He cautions that while patient trust and regulatory concerns can act as roadblocks, rigorous testing of the mobile apps and protection of patient privacy can push digital medicine to the forefront in the changing landscape of healthcare needs.

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