Medical applications are a new breakthrough in digital health technology Medical applications are a new breakthrough in digital health technology

Medical applications are a new breakthrough in digital health technology

Medical applications are a new breakthrough in digital health technology

One of the goals of this association is to work to educate the public, health professionals and policy makers about the importance of digital treatments, gain their recognition of them, and support research and development in the field of digital treatments to ensure the provision of effective and safe solutions to patients.

The association also aims to strengthen partnerships and cooperation among members to improve the quality and availability of digital treatments, create and apply standards and guidelines to ensure the quality and effectiveness of these treatments, as well as work to effectively integrate digital treatments within the prevailing health systems in various countries of the world.

The role of the US Food and Drug Administration
In 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the first ever digital smartphone application, the “reSET” application, as effective in treating addiction and disorders resulting from the consumption of drugs, alcohol, and stimulants. As of late 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved more than 40 digital treatments, including:

EndeavorRx, a video game developed by Akili, can now be approved as a prescription for the treatment of children between the ages of 8 and 12 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
BlueStar, a digital app developed by WellDoc for type 2 diabetes management, provides and helps maintain healthy habits.
The "Kaia Health" application, which offers several convenient ways to relieve back pain by providing a set of exercises for the back, abdomen, and legs, and relaxation techniques, as a way to relieve pain and improve the quality of life.

Natural Cycles is a digital application that helps prevent pregnancy by calculating fertile days based on body temperature readings and information related to the menstrual cycle.
German Digital Healthcare Act
Germany is at the forefront of European countries that have embraced digital healthcare. In November 2019, the German Parliament passed legislation for the digital healthcare system, and approved the use of digital medical applications in treatment.

The German Federal Institute for Medicines and Medical Devices maintains a special register of approved digital health applications, where doctors and psychotherapists can include them in prescriptions, and insurance companies can cover them. Examples of these applications include:

Kalmeda, a digital application that provides therapeutic assistance to users who suffer from ringing in their ears.
Velibra, a digital app for treating anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder, using cognitive behavioral therapy methods.

Filipra application for the treatment of anxiety disorders including panic disorder.
Vivira, designed to treat back, knee and hip pain, offers a physical therapy program to help manage and relieve pain.
M-sense, a digital application that aims to manage headaches, including migraines, through patient-friendly treatment plans.

M-Sense application aims to manage headaches, including migraines, through appropriate treatment plans for the sufferer.

Somnio, a sleep coaching app designed to help users suffering from insomnia with individually tailored sleep improvement techniques.

Definition of digital therapeutics
Digital Therapeutics, also known as DTx, are treatments based on clinically validated computer software applications that have approvals from local health regulatory authorities just like medicines.

These digital applications are accessed through smartphones or other smart devices, and are prescribed by a specialist licensed to practice the profession.

It must be noted that digital treatments are fundamentally different from telemedicine, as their use only requires downloading the treatment application from the Apple Store, Google Play, or other similar platforms.

Digital Therapeutics Market
MarketsandMarkets estimated the global digital therapeutics market in terms of revenue at about $6.1 billion in 2023, and expected it to reach $21.9 billion by 2028.

The company attributes this high growth to the availability of digital applications that help prevent, manage and treat chronic diseases and medical disorders, which has led to increased investments in this field.

The digital therapeutics market is divided into devices, software, and services, with software and services holding the largest share.

Digital therapeutics includes applications related to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular, central nervous system, respiratory, smoking cessation, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety, etc.

Studies indicate that these treatments have proven effective in supporting preventive care, diagnosis, treatment, management, and improving health conditions associated with the indicated diseases.

The future of digital therapeutics
The future of digital health applications appears promising, as they become more integrated with healthcare management day after day. It is expected that advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and personalized medicine will lead to the design of more sophisticated applications, tailored to the needs of each individual person.

As the focus on preventive healthcare increases, apps that monitor a person's health and encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices will become increasingly important. As data security and privacy continue to improve, user confidence in them will increase, and thus adoption will accelerate.

Challenges facing Arab countries
Although some Arab countries, such as the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, have shown a tangible interest in digital health applications, the spread of these applications still faces challenges in most Arab countries, represented by the absence of legislation and laws regulating them, weak awareness and culture of their importance, as well as weak integration with existing health systems. Especially health insurance systems. The weak Internet infrastructure in poor Arab countries is also a major obstacle.

It is worth noting the importance of providing a database of digital health applications that have been approved by the relevant authorities in each country, allowing them to be included in medical prescriptions and covered by insurance companies.

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