Retaining the human quality of healthcare in DTx

pharmaphorum podcast episode 89a

As DTx Europe came to a close at the British Medical Association in London, pharmaphorum web editor Nicole Raleigh spoke with Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) program lead, Alex Despotovic, discussing adoption of digital therapeutics and digital technologies in general in clinical practice, and the impact of the event itself overall.

From embedding single point solutions into established care pathways within different countries and environments to establishing new care pathways, there is the overarching sense of the need to retain the human quality of healthcare.

Noting the existing infrastructure of drug or medicinal healthcare, compared to Software as Medical Devices and software in general, there is still a wariness in the system as to the practical implementation of new technologies within the infrastructure as it stands. A ventilator is conceptually known, but an App (and algorithms) notably less so in the mind of a clinician.

On the notion of interaction and – perhaps controversially – not considering the physician an ‘end user’, but bringing them in earlier (as the closing panel did), they discuss also ‘blended care’ and the embedding of chief medical officers in digital development teams.

The UK having the biggest deployment of DTx, Despotovic also notes the unique nature of the NHS in permitting start-up regional attempts to deploy digital therapeutic pilots. The ‘most fertile ground’, perhaps, the question of sustainability elsewhere of this remains, however.

‘Collaboration’ a key word this year across pharma and healthcare, it is clear there is a long road ahead in terms of clinical evidence gathering. DTx – although not pharmaceutical drugs – are in effect ‘drugs’ that assert a therapeutic effect, and those effects are only just now being appreciated, explored in terms of good use and misuse, and tentatively implemented.

You can listen to episode 89a of the pharmaphorum podcast in the player below, download the episode to your computer, or find it – and subscribe to the rest of the series - in iTunes, Spotify, acast, Stitcher, and Podbean.