Digital therapeutics startups band together to form new industry group

By Jonah Comstock
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A group of  health startups in the burgeoning digital therapeutics space have joined together to create a new industry association, the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA).

“Digital therapeutics are re-writing our definition of medicine,” Akili Interactive CEO Eddie Martucci said in a statement. “It’s critical that industry, academia, government, and the medical community work together in the next phase of medical adoption. We’re excited to drive this effort alongside other leaders who share our dedication to rigorous clinical validation and organizational excellence in product development. It is truly a new class of medicine.”

The Digital Therapeutics Alliance defines the space as “a new generation of healthcare that uses innovative, clinically-validated disease management and direct treatment technologies to enhance, and in some cases replace, current medical practices and treatments.”

“We encourage the continued growth of this industry through DTA’s work and initiatives,” Sean Duffy, CEO, Omada Health, and DTA Strategic Advisor, said in a statement. “This specialized category of products emerged from the broader digital health category, and commitment to outcome-focused reimbursement.”

Founding members include a number of digital health heavy hitters: Propeller Health, WellDoc, Akili Interactive, Omada Health, and Voluntis. They’ll work together to promote real-world evidence studies and pilot programs, create industry standards and frameworks, and develop shared data repositories.

“Our Alliance is dedicated to advancing novel platforms and solutions that improve patients’ lives and add value to physicians, care teams, and the healthcare system,” Anand K. Iyer, chief strategy officer at WellDoc, said in a statement. “These tools are used in daily life to improve patient and provider visibility into complex treatment processes and simplify pathways to better outcomes.”

Almost immediately after launching, at the Connected Health Conference in Boston, the DTA announced a strategic partnership with the Personal Connected Health Alliance, a non-profit organization that operates as a part of HIMSS (MobiHealthNews’ parent company). The partnership will allow DTA to use some of PCHAlliance’s infrastructure, reach, and resources toward its goals.

"Digital therapeutics is an emerging trend, based on the idea that technology can improve an individual's health as much as a drug can, as well as increase the efficacy of drug therapies. Digital therapeutics companies are proving, via rigorous clinical studies – and even regulatory approval – that connected health technologies can provide measurable clinical benefit, at least as good as some medication," Patty Mechael, EVP of PCHAlliance, said in a statement. "We are pleased to partner with the Digital Therapeutics Alliance to combine our resources to advance the field, galvanize key stakeholders, focus on developing standards of quality, and work towards improving health outcomes through this newly developing sub-domain of personal connected health.”

PCHAlliance has also launched a digital therapeutics taskforce, led by Leurent.

“Digital therapeutics are at the forefront of a new era in healthcare,” Voluntis CEO Pierre Leurent said in a statement. “As the entire industry prepares for what’s next, we are excited to represent digital therapeutics in this rapidly evolving environment, working with regulators, patient advocacy groups, providers, payers, and manufacturers.”

Digital therapeutics is a fast-growing field, as evidenced by CMS’ expected approval of digital diabetes prevention programs and the FDA’s recent clearance of Pear Therapeutic’s digital therapeutic for addiction. A recent report from Grand View research says the digital therapeutics market will be worth more than $9 billion in 2025.

“Digital therapeutics will significantly benefit individuals and communities by improving chronic disease care and treatment,” David Van Sickle, CEO of Propeller Health, said in a statement. “DTA actively encourages and supports companies working to develop, trial, and market digital offerings with meaningful clinical benefits.”