Could you imagine a pill being replaced by machines, apps, or software? As crazy as that sounds, it is happening right now. There are many healthcare specialists and institutions that are implementing this trend to prevent diseases or to treat chronic conditions. It’s incredible to see how a digital product can do such a thing. However, thanks to numerous studies and research, we can now see the results of digital therapeutics.
Cancer patients can also leverage digital therapeutics for their treatment. In this article, we’ll show you some of the evidence and applications of this trend and how it is impacting the healthcare industry.
What Are Digital Therapeutics?
Digital therapeutics is the discipline that uses artificial intelligence software or even IoT to prevent or treat medical conditions. Through the use of apps, patients can provide doctors with meaningful insights that can help them diagnose possible challenges. This way, they can do what’s necessary to prevent them.
Digital therapeutics is also used to treat conditions. By using the right software, patients can handle drug doses correctly, heal with stress management, and stick to healthy habits. Digital therapeutic must be prescribed just like a pill would, so each patient will receive a recommendation from their doctors that’s made specifically for their condition.
Chain of Medical Professionals
Most chronically ill patients need to be monitored by different professionals that treat their specific traits. This is the same for cancer patients. Most of them develop other conditions or they simply have to be treated by different professionals to monitor their overall health.
According to Cancer.org: “It’s common to have different specialists or health care professionals as part of your cancer care team. Having different professionals work together is an approach that is used in many hospitals and clinics before, during, and after cancer treatment.”
That’s why digital therapeutics is perfect for cancer patients. Not only are they able to manage their treatment doses, but they also have a wide chain of professionals that provide holistic treatment.
Results in Cancer Care
According to Mobile Health News, 75 percent of breast cancer patients experience cognitive decline. Most cancer patients struggle with cognitive issues like indecisiveness, forgetfulness, distraction, and lack of confidence.
This is caused by excessive exposure to chemotherapy and the inflammation of systemic medication. In addition, the stressful and negative emotions that they go through also influence their brain, causing a condition called cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI).
In a recent study, scientists were able to prove that the use of the app MyCognition had a positive effect on cognition. This research included patients from 18 to 71 years old and took place from 2016 to 2020. These patients used the app three times a week for that period and experienced an improvement in their overall cognitive health.
For that reason, many institutions have encouraged cancer patients to use digital therapeutics to improve their health. Besides, it is also known that this condition often leads to other collateral psychological diseases like anxiety or depression. For those patients that suffer from those conditions, doctors recommend using virtual reality apps that help them release stress and avoid anxiety.
Digital Therapeutics and Data Science
This discipline starts and ends with data science. There’s no doubt about it. Although we have phone calls and emails to communicate with doctors, this is not as immediate as a chat message or as dynamic as an app. That’s why digital therapeutic apps have become an efficient communication channel. Yet, the whole purpose of these apps is to collect data from the patients’ health updates. This way, they can use data visualization to easily spot what’s affecting their health.
The whole point of digital therapeutics is not to replace traditional healthcare, but to provide a better communication channel to connect patients with doctors. Digital therapeutics also provide people with treatment while they’re at home.
However, it’s not like taking a pill or receiving physiotherapy, for example. Patients still need to use traditional therapeutics and use digital therapeutics to complement their treatment. Yet, this discipline has shown incredible results that could positively influence the healthcare industry.