An issue to watch is how “digiceuticals” (digital therapeutics) will affect the wellness industry. This new generation of digital medicines that rely on software for curing or managing a disease is booming—200 deals closed in the US in the first half of this year, representing a cumulative investment of $3.4 billion.
They go beyond wellness apps, whose purpose is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and whose positive impact remains a subject for debate. Digiceuticals that are, like conventional medicine, validated by medical trials and prescribed by doctors seem to be adding significant value for patients. They are smartphone apps that deliver treatments for things such as addictions, ADHD or diabetes, and they typically gather data (using sensors and monitors) and provide real-time guidance. For instance, stop-smoking digiceutical apps might combine a breath sensor with coaching, while addiction-fighting apps can be grounded in real-time cognitive behavioral therapy. Watch this space!