- The Digital Therapeutics Alliance debuted a new code of ethics as well as a set of best practices it put together to serve as guidelines for companies in product development and marketing.
- The two-year-old group, which promotes the use of digital therapeutics, said the frameworks were created for products that claim to treat disease and therefore carry a higher level of risk than other digital health tools such as wellness apps.
- Large pharmaceutical companies have shown interest in digital therapeutics, but validating such tools remains a work in progress. And even early adopters like Novartis have reevaluated initial steps.
The alliance aims to address the growing pains of an industry working to meet rising demand from healthcare providers for new options to improve care and cut costs.
Earlier this year, a report from Rock Health found drugmakers want to partner with digital therapeutics startups, but payers and other stakeholders are still warming up to the sector.
DTA said it wants to clear up confusion about what types of products exist in digital health and reassure patients, clinicians and payers that those making higher-risk medical claims must be backed by higher levels of clinical evidence.
Formed in 2017 with the goal of integrating digital therapeutics into mainstream healthcare, the group contends clinically validated disease management and treatment technologies can improve, or even replace, current medical practices.
Founding members include cognitive therapeutics firm Akili Interactive, lung disease-focused Propeller Health (later acquired by ResMed), digital diabetes company Voluntis and chronic disease management firm WellDoc. The alliance now counts among its members Novartis, Sanofi, Bayer, Pear Therapeutics and many others.
Under the alliance's code of ethics, every company engaged in the design, evaluation and deployment of digital therapeutics should adhere to 10 principles, which include protecting patient privacy and data, making appropriate product claims and using credible evidence to support those claims.