A study from UK-based analyst house, Juniper Research has found that the number of people using digital therapeutics and wellness apps will grow from 627 million in 2020 to more than 1.4 billion in 2025.
This follows regulators responding to COVID-19 by loosening rules that had previously delayed the work of digital therapeutics developers.
WHY IT MATTERS
The study, called Digital Therapeutics & Wellness: Disruption, Innovation Opportunities & Market Size 2020-2025, also revealed that by 2021, over 44 million people will be using digital therapeutics to manage their healthcare.
This is an increase of 288% over pre-pandemic usage levels in 2019, suggesting that digital therapeutics and wellness apps have become a lifeline for many people during the pandemic, as they were unable to leave their homes to receive needed care.
Juniper Research expects the value of the digital therapeutics and wellness market to grow from $5.8 billion (€4.9 billion) in 2020 to over $56 billion (€47 billion) in 2025.
The research states that this growth will be largely fed by acceptance of digital therapeutics technologies by institutions like health insurers and employer payers, who are expected to contribute over half of the digital therapeutics revenue.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
At the HIMSS & Health 2.0 Europe Digital in September, a group of digital therapeutics stakeholders discussed that although many regulatory barriers are clear, remaining roadblocks for digital therapeutics are cultural and logistical.
At the event, Dr César Morcillo Serra, medical director of internal medicine at Sanitas Digital Hospital said: “Digital transformation must focus on the patient and the healthcare professionals, because as you know people and culture are the main barrier for this kind of transformation,”
“We must focus on how to prescribe these digital tools to help our patients. Everything must help with these workflows — not giving us more work, but trying to help us.”
Also in September, panellists at DTx East discussed the benefits of implementing digital therapeutics into pharma, with partnerships cited as becoming more likely.
ON THE RECORD
Research analyst and report author at Juniper Research, Adam Wears said: “COVID-19 has massively accelerated the digital therapeutics and wellness space. Alongside the mass adoption of these technologies by patients and consumers, we’re also seeing, at least in the US, regulators and legislators rolling back rules that had previously stymied developers in terms of innovation, clinical evidentiary standards, and reimbursement. We might not know when the pandemic will end, but we know that the space is unlikely to ever go back to how it was.”