May 31, 2023

Contra Mare

Slick Healthy

Evolution of therapies: towards the concept of digital therapies

From treatment to prevention: The evolution of ...

In medicine, therapy comes from the Latin therapīa , and this in turn from the classical Greek therapeia. And it is defined as the set of means (hygienic, pharmacological, surgical or others) whose purpose is the cure or relief of diseases or symptoms, so it is a type of clinical judgment. Learn more about Digital therapeutics here. 

Thus, therapies have been used since Prehistory in which the disease was initially attributed to supernatural or magical causes. Natural remedies such as plants, earth, animal fats, etc. were applied to cure diseases . Surgical techniques such as trepanation were also developed, applied since the Neolithic, but becoming more popular in the Middle Ages.

Throughout history there have been a multitude of therapies, some of which have lasted until today, such as acupuncture, of Chinese origin and which is a discipline halfway between medicine and surgery, which restored the lost balance between Yin and Yang.

But without a doubt, until the mid-nineteenth century with the use of pharmacology as a biomedical science, which was a revolution, for being a biomedical science that applied the principles of scientific experimentation to therapeutic contexts. Promoting pharmacological research and its understanding.

The latest advances that we currently have are genetics that responds to an experimental medical technique that consists of inserting genes into the cells and tissues of the patient to treat the disease. Or biological therapy or also known as immunotherapy, which uses the body’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer or to reduce side effects. All this represents a new revolution in therapies for patients.

The next step that is being implemented is to talk about Digital Therapeutics (DTx) . Thus, digital therapeutic products “offer evidence-based therapeutic interventions to prevent, control, or treat a medical disorder or illness.” But for these products to be used they must be proven by scientific evidence and real-world results.

Thus, the regulatory bodies such as the EMA in Europe or the FDA in the US are the ones that review the statements of risk, efficacy and intended use of the product. In Europe, the new regulation on medical devices EU 2017/745 already speaks of post-marketing studies to carry out this type of study.

These types of products provide broad access to evidence-based therapy options for conditions that have previously been untreated or undertreated by traditional drugs and therapies.

This digital therapy must show measurable clinical results, which are aligned with good clinical practices, as well as the publication of results in peer-reviewed journals and their application of evidence in the real world. Being these key elements to be considered a digital therapy.

Countries such as Germany and Belgium are currently including a regulatory framework for these digital therapy products. In which it will soon be possible for our doctor to prescribe the use of an app as a digital therapy product.