THE DIGITAL THERAPEUTICS EXPLAINER: How digital treatments could be a $9 billion opportunity by 2025
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A new class of medicine - digital therapeutics (DTx) - has emerged, offering a novel means of treating the swelling number of patients with chronic diseases and keeping associated costs down.
Digital therapeutics deliver evidence-based therapies via software - often in the form of consumer-facing mobile health apps - that replace or complement the existing treatment of a disease. They diverge from the broader digital health market in that they must be approved by regulatory bodies - and displaying proof-of-concept is at the core of their model.
DTx vendors leverage their tech to treat chronic conditions, which gobble up the lion's share of the US' healthcare spending: Business Insider Intelligence estimates that the US shelled out up to $3.3 trillion on chronic disease in 2018. The surging prevalence of chronic conditions combined with their sky-high price tags is fueling fast growth in the global DTx market, which is poised to expand 21% annually to hit nearly $9 billion by 2025.
The sea change sparked by the advent of digital medicines threatens to reshape the entire healthcare value chain. Because drugs interact with nearly every healthcare stakeholder, DTx solutions are leading a variety of players to carve out room for digital solutions: Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are creating logs for DTx as they would drugs, insurers are linking their members up with digital solutions in an effort to mitigate spending, and entrenched pharma and medtech companies are tying up with DTx vendors to dip into new revenue streams.
Those that choose not to get on the DTx bandwagon might miss out on a massive opportunity - and we think laggard drugmakers and medical device makers that don't jump at the chance of linking up with DTx providers could put themselves at risk of losing market share to new competitors.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will explore the drivers lighting a fire under the DTx market, identify the leading DTx market players, and unpack the varied ways vendors reach their intended audiences. We will also assess both the opportunities and risks DTx companies and their products pose to payers, pharmaceutical companies, and medtech firms. Finally, we will forecast what we expect to see next in the DTX space and outline the barriers holding DTx firms back to help stakeholders navigate the crowding field and develop strategies to capture a piece of the DTx pie.
The companies mentioned in this report are: 23andMe, 2morrow, Inc., Advocate Health Care, Akili Interactive, Apple, Aptar Pharma, Aurora Health Care, Bayer, Better Therapeutics, Big Health, Biofourmis, Blue Shield of California, Cambia Health Solutions, Cigna, Click Therapeutics, Cognoa, CVS Caremark, DarioHealth, Dexcom, Diabeto, Eli Lilly, ExpressScripts, Glooko, Happify Health, Health2Sync, Kaia Health, Lark Health, Livongo, MedRhythms, myStrength, mySugr, Noom, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Omada Health, Omron, One Drop, Otsuka, Pear Therapeutics, Propeller Health, Proteus Digital Health, ResMed, Retrofit, Roche, Sanofi, Teva Pharmaceutical, Teladoc, UnitedHealth Group, Vida Health, Virta Health, Voluntis, Walgreens, Walmart, and Welldoc.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Digital therapeutics are shaking up the healthcare value chain: The digital therapeutics market is set to triple in size over the next six years, blossoming into a $9 billion opportunity - and Business Insider Intelligence predicts consumer adoption of the digital treatments will grow more than 10-fold by 2023.
- Payers should stock portfolios with digital therapeutics to shore up on drug spending, curb their sizable share of chronic disease costs, keep patients healthy, and woo employer contracts.
- Proactive pharmaceutical firms and medical device makers can benefit from DTx's proliferation through tie-ups with vendors that give the incumbents access to piles of real-time data as well as the possibility to expand revenue opportunities through commercializing new products and programs - but sluggish drug- and device makers risk waving goodbye to consumers opting for digital solutions.
- We expect to see heightened activity in the space over the next several years, but hurdles to growth remain, including winning over doctors and consumers as well as paltry reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
In full, the report:
- Provides a roadmap to the digital therapeutics market and explains how companies developing digital drug alternatives are transforming healthcare.
- Identifies key players operating in the space.
- Explores how digital therapeutics stand to benefit - and threaten - entrenched players, like payers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device makers.
- Considers what the future of digital therapeutics looks like and what still stands in the way of their proliferation.
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