24 consumer tech and digital health companies join new push for industry-wide digital therapeutics standards

Under the banner of the Consumer Technology Association, the companies hope that clear standards will improve digital therapeutics adoption and implementation.
By Dave Muoio
11:33 am
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The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced this morning a new group of 24 technology and digital health companies aiming to develop industry-wide standards for digital therapeutics use.

Headlined by big names like Google Health, Doctor on Demand, HP, Livongo and ResMed (see below for the full list), the initiative is tackling the amorphous definitions and terminologies that abound within this branch of digital health. Alongside outlining common use for digital therapeutics within the tech industry, the CTA said this group's work could also extend into consumer education efforts.

“There are vast opportunities to innovate in this space to improve patient outcomes and lower costs,” Kerri Haresign, director of technology and standards for the CTA, said in a statement. “But to increase use and adoption, we need to document a common understanding of the technology. The group will also focus on distinguishing between general digital health technology and technology used for intervention.”

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Of note, the CTA said that it will also be including a session on digital therapeutics as part of its Technology and Standards Fall Forum, held in late September.

WHY IT MATTERS

One can hardly toss a stone within digital health circles without striking a heated discussion over the definition of digital therapeutics. But the issue is larger than Twitter debates. Consistent, meaningful language and expectations are becoming more necessary as government organizations craft their regulatory guidelines, or as payers and pharmas hash out their formularies and reimbursement programs. And stakeholders have also warned that without consistent standards, the digital therapeutics moniker could become a marketing buzzword affixed to undeserving health or wellness technologies.

“There are vast opportunities to innovate in this space to improve patient outcomes and lower costs,” Kerri Haresign, director of technology and standards for the CTA, said in a statement. “But to increase use and adoption, we need to document a common understanding of the technology. The group will also focus on distinguishing between general digital health technology and technology used for intervention.”

The CTA also noted in its announcement that the increased adoption of digital health tools during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new urgency to the conversation.

THE LARGER TREND

The CTA's initiative is not the first to convene digital therapeutics stakeholders on the subject of consistent standards. The most prominent push has come from an industry group founded in late 2017 called the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA), which released its own white paper with a precise definition and best practices in October of 2018.

However, it's worth noting that there is surprisingly little overlap between the listed members of the DTA and the CTA's initiative. The former's membership is largely comprised of digital therapeutics startups and pharmas, while the latter (understandably) sees more participation from the broader tech industry. ResMed's Propeller Health and Philips are the only companies listed as participants in both groups.

Time will tell whether differences in representation between these two efforts will lead to meaningful differences in their proposed digital therapeutics standards.

THE FULL LIST OF CTA'S PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS

Activbody

Amalgam Rx

Amptify

AudioCardio

Awarables

Bose

CareWear

Doctor on Demand

Ginger

GlucosoneZone by Fitscript

Google Health

HP

Livongo

MagicLeap

MindMaze

MyndVR

Oova

Philips

Propeller Health

RapidSOS

ResMed

The Omega Concern

Tivic Health Systems

Validic

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