We know medicine as a physical thing – whether it be taking a certain drug to combat an illness to having physical therapy. But this is changing as software powered medicine is entering the spotlight – by 2025, the market for digital therapeutics is expected to reach $7.8 billion. Digital therapeutics are therapeutic interventions driven by technology and software programs. They are used to alleviate symptoms of physiological and neurobehavioral conditions and therapies improve outcome when combined with standard treatment. Digital therapeutics can also offer new options for otherwise unmet needs and can be applied to a wide range of uses such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular, central nervous, respiratory, and gastrointestinal problems. One of the big current uses of digital therapeutics is in tech powered tremor relief. This procedure, which involves the use of high intensity ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and a specialized cooling helmet to relieve involuntary trembling and Parkinson’s disease. Though with anything, even this treatment has its pros and its cons. The pros include that this treatment is non-invasive, lower risk of infection, shorter recovery time, and no collateral tissue damage. Some of the potential side effects include tingling in the fingers and tongue, difficulty with sense of balance, but these are usually temporary and minor.
Another big use of digital therapy is in specialized video games. These video games can help patients practice essential skills, from attention and memory to relaxation, all while having fun. Video games may help build key skills including the ability to recall information in a short time frame such as a to-do list, ability to manage emotions, attention, and planning, and being able to control your focus and having the ability to process, filter, and respond to incoming stimuli.
Learn about more tech that is changing the way we think about therapy and how it might be the next frontier in software powered medicine here.