In 2006, Elisabeth Silverman published an article in the prestigious journal Nature. The title was deliberately provocative, “Who took the tech out of Biotech?” and aimed at showing that biotech entrepreneurs were voluntarily minimizing their technological innovation to focus on product development.
Less than 20 years have passed, and we now witness the opposite trend. Technology is king, and if a startup does not have a varnish of Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, or digital, its chances of being funded are slim.
Digital Therapeutics (or DTx for short) leverages technology -from smartphones to wearables to the Internet of Things or even Virtual Reality- to trigger and monitor the behavioral changes that ultimately improve the patient’s health.
Instead of a pill, clinically evaluated software will be the trigger to manage a wide range of diseases, from mental health disorders to metabolic diseases or even smoking cessation. We recommend that you check the core principles established by the Digital Therapeutics Alliance.
Overall, all parties (patients, physicians, and payers) can benefit from using these clinically validated and safe approaches that are gaining traction in the digital health landscape and are now reimbursed.
With so much to offer, it is no surprise that the DTx market is poised for exponential growth. According to the latest analysis from GrandViewResearch, the DTx market will increase from USD 5 billion in 2022 to USD 32 billion in 2030. That is a CAGR of more than 26% over the period.
5 Digital Therapeutics Companies to look at in 2023
From Big Pharmaceutical companies to startups, the DTx landscape is striving, and Mc Kinsey evaluated that the level of investment increased by 40% every year over the 2013 to 2020 period.
We selected ten companies that have a lot of potential and may well change or at least contribute to the growth of the Digital Therapeutics landscape. Our choice is subjective but relies on objective criteria such as the targeted market, their financial strength, and the technology used. We will fully understand if you disagree with our selection or if you consider that we missed your favorite player. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so we stick to our choice and hope you will find it relevant or interesting.
The companies are presented in no particular order as we aim to present a global overview of the future DTx landscape.
In 2021, we interviewed Rick Anderson, DarioHealth President and General Manager of North America. He told us how the company was on a journey to develop a holistic approach to Digital Health. Initially focusing on diabetes management, the company also introduced Musculoskeletal disorders management.
Positioning itself as a behavioral IT health company, DarioHealth (NASDAQ: DRIO) also announced in early 2022 a strategic partnership with the Big Pharmaceutical Company Sanofi, US.
DarioHealth is now offering a unified digital therapeutics platform encompassing Musculoskeletal, metabolic, and mental health conditions.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the third leading cause of mortality. In addition, up to 55% of the patients may also suffer from asthma overlap. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimate that 25 million Americans have asthma, making it one of the most common and costly disease, making it ideal to benefit from Digital Therapeutics technologies.
Founded in 2007, Propeller Health is the companies’ prototype focusing exclusively on respiratory disorders that developed a sensor compatible with 90% of the respirators available in the US and a multifactorial platform allowing for a better understanding of the respiratory disorder triggers.
The Propeller platform helps to identify and manage asthma triggers (from allergens to air quality, medication, and more.)
The company technology appeared so promising that ResMed (NYSE: RMD, ASX: RMD), the US leader in respiratory diseases management, acquired Propeller in 2019 for $225 million, making it one of the first success stories of the DTx era.
Founded in 2015, Hinge Health has already raised more than $1 billion! This frenzy of investors proves that the company is onto something big: Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain! Did you know that more than 50% of Americans suffer from MSK disorders?
We have all experienced back or neck pains. Still, when the pain becomes chronic, the patient’s quality of life is dramatically impaired, without even mentioning the economic impact of such conditions. Hinge Health offer virtual access to Comprehensive back and joint programs.
The company combines computer vision, sensors, and wearable pain relief devices to replace standard pain medications. With more than 21 covered members, 68% of the participants reported a reduction in pain, leading to a 62% productivity increase.
CureApp is a Japanese Digital Therapeutics company that gained traction as the first App approved by the Japanese Health Authorities (PMDA) for smoking cessation. Digital Therapeutics have great potential for helping patients suffering from addictions and for providing behavioral help.
Since its early success, the company also gained approval for its hypertension solution aiming at helping patients improve their lifestyle.
Biofourmis is another company that reached unicorn status in less than seven years and raised more than $450 million. Relying on machine learning algorithms and wearable devices, Biofourmis’s goal is to transform how healthcare is delivered and pave the way to actual personalized medicine.
By improving patient engagement via a companion app and patient-centric dashboard for physicians, Biofourmis accelerates pharmaceutical product innovation and clinical research.
Biofourmis also reduce hospitalization periods and let patients recover at home while receiving equivalent care. With a day at the hospital costing $3,000 on average, billions of dollars can be saved by using digital solutions developed by companies such as Biofourmis.
Their algorithm is FDA-cleared, and their digital biomarkers have already attracted the interest of major pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis, Chugai, and Astra Zeneca.
Digital Therapeutics is still emerging, but the promises and benefits appear huge for numerous conditions. Numerous companies are also on a path to change how therapeutics are delivered in safer, more personalized, and cheaper ways.
For example, Akili Interactive use video games to improve cognitive functions.
With so much data being collected and processed, one critical component to consider is patient privacy and data protection. Robust HIPAA compliance and cybersecurity should be enforced everywhere, from patients to physicians and companies.
The future is bright for Digital Therapeutics, and the pillbox may soon be a relic of the past to be replaced by a smartphone and a wearable device.