The digital therapeutics (DTx) market in the US is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% from 2022 to 2030, according to a new report.

GlobalData’s DTx in Medical report notes that the growing sector has the potential to improve the care received by patients, offering real-time remote monitoring, “allowing healthcare professionals to track their progress and treatment plans, as well as identify potential issues in real time.”

DTx can be defined as “software-based interventions that deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients.” They can be used independently, or alongside other treatments and are often used in the treatment of chronic, respiratory or neurological conditions, as well as mental health problems.

A subset of mobile health (mHealth), DTx interventions are prescribed as part of a medical plan, making them distinct from other seemingly similar healthcare apps which are not integrated into the healthcare system. For example, diabetics may have the option to manage their diabetes with the assistance of DTx tools such as mobile health (mHealth) apps and wearables which provide medication and insulin guidance.

Better Therapeutics and DarioHealth are two companies leading in the DTx treatment of diabetes, with the former offering a prescription DTx for type 2 diabetes and the latter using Dario Evolve (a metabolic solution) to measure and manage health indicators, including blood glucose.

Of how DTx differs from other digital health solutions, the report states: “DTx are similar, but not identical, to digital health or mobile health apps. As such, the terms cannot be used interchangeably. Digital health encompasses a broad spectrum of technology-driven healthcare solutions, including electronic health records (EHRs), telehealth services, wearable devices and health apps. Mobile health (mHealth) apps, a subset of digital health, predominantly focus on providing health-related information, fitness tracking and general wellness support. While mHealth apps contribute to health promotion and disease prevention, they typically lack the clinical validation and specificity found in DTx.

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“Additionally, while DTx often manifest as mobile health applications, they are not inherently limited to being apps. The term ‘digital therapeutics’ refers more broadly to digital technologies used for therapeutic purposes. While many DTx are delivered through applications, they can also include other forms of digital interventions, such as virtual reality experiences, online platforms, or even wearable devices.”

GlobalData analysis identified 733 DTx pipeline products, with nervous system diseases being the most common area.

The nervous system is affected by a variety of disorders within the mental health and neurological categories. Among the conditions being positively impacted by the introduction of DTx are addiction, depression, insomnia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The report identified Akili Interactive, Biofourmis, Click Therapeutics, DarioHealth, ResMed and Big Health as leaders in the use of DTx in mental health and neurological conditions. It also noted that the sector is likely to evolve alongside the development of virtual reality and augmented reality, which could offer “the potential to enhance remote training for healthcare professionals, facilitate virtual consultations with enhanced visualization and provide immersive therapy experiences for patients with mental health conditions.”

DTx can offer personalised insights for a variety of conditions and it is these unique insights that have seen the technology become popular in the medical field. A GlobalData survey conducted in February 2023 found that 43% of participants considered personalisation to be the primary benefit followed by 37.7% who considered it to be the improved quality of care.