Germany’s digital health changes will boost digital therapeutics in Europe

Digital therapeutics are gaining momentum worldwide and offer developers, including pharma, both a huge opportunity and a stimulating market access challenge, say Olaf Schoeman and Emanuele Arcà.

The last 12 months have shone a spotlight on digital transformation in Europe’s healthcare systems, with all the signs pointing to digital therapeutics (DTx) moving ever more into the healthcare mainstream.

Germany is spearheading these advances, particularly with its 2019 changes on national digital health reimbursement. The country will provide further momentum during its presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), which runs from July until December 2020 and will see it work closely with the succeeding presidencies of Portugal and Slovenia. The countries have agreed a ‘trio programme’ to identify issues that would benefit from a fluid transition from one EU member state’s presidency to the next to form an 18-month agenda, with progress in digital health one of the highlights of their plans.

While we would not expect digital therapeutics to replace pharmaceuticals themselves, they could bring huge complementary benefits to patients and prescribers and, in doing so, could bring pharmaceutical companies perhaps as much value as the medicines they traditionally produce.

• Read the full article in pharmaphorum’s Deep Dive digital magazine