Digital medicine is rapidly becoming critical for enhancing patient health outcomes with the change from volume-based care to value-based care. Against the context, healthcare companies are using mobile devices to enable patients on their own to better control illnesses and to improve the quality of life.
Digital medicine provides a DIY technique to help patients understand, diagnose and treat illnesses using a smartphone, from disease monitoring with sensor-bearing pills to smart wearables for disease control. Healthcare providers digital medicine programs have grown from basic drug adherence reminding tools to treatment managers delivering more personalized and comprehensive patient care.
Here are few examples:
- To improve the sleep quality of patients suffering from nightmare disorders, wearable tech startup NightWare obtained FDA’s De Novo approval for Apple Watch and related iPhone app. To build a baseline, sensors in the watch monitor the heart rate and body movements of the wearer. An AI algorithm subsequently detects any anomalies induced by a nightmare while they sleep. The watch offers subtle nudges without waking them to disturb a user’s nightmare.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, smart pill manufacturer CapsoVision released its ‘CapsoCam Plus’ ingestible camera pill for remote and at-home use. Patients will take the pill and perform daily tasks, where 360-degree photographs of the small intestine are captured. Physicians would then study the photos to detect bleeding, ulcers and symptoms of celiac disease.
- Takeda, a pharmaceutical corporation, has created an immersive smartphone ‘Being Patient: Multiple Myeloma’ app to give users a deep understanding of the daily life of patients with the disease. Via storytelling and educational videos, the app offers information on the condition, diagnosis and treatment, which highlights the perspective of numerous patients with myeloma.
- Doctor On Demand, a provider of virtual medical services, collaborated with the CareLinx in-home care professional network to help elderly people access healthcare through its telehealth app. In order to treat common illnesses such as rashes, cold, flu, as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure, virtual doctor visits via the app may be used.
In addition to helping patients with disease identification and management, digital medicine may also capture their behavioral information to allow researchers to accelerate the production of new drugs in the long run. How the current pandemic of COVID-19 reiterated the need for digital medicine, where smartphone applications are entering the market to help patients control the disease and improve treatment at home.
Although patient confidence and regulatory issues can serve as roadblocks, in the changing environment of healthcare needs, robust testing of mobile applications and patient privacy security can bring digital medicine to the forefront.