Yinka’s Blog – March

There are many contributing factors driving the quality of health outcomes. But one emerging question that is gaining traction and profile is, can digital therapeutics play a role in improving health outcomes, and what is the evidence to suggest they can?

Therefore, it may not come as a surprise to you that we have dedicated this month’s newsletter on the subject of Digital Therapeutics and the role of clinical evidence in digital therapeutics assessment and commissioning.

First though…. what is Digital Therapeutics?  Here’s a definition.

“Digital therapeutics are something that is digital or software by nature, that engages a patient, and by virtue of the mechanics of the software can by itself or in combination with something else lead to clinical outcomes,”  says Eddie Martucci, CEO, Akili Interactive Labs.

We at DigitalHealth.London have been debating the growing value of Digital Therapeutics in the United Kindom and engaging with many stakeholders both inside and outside of the NHS on its potential to improve patient experience and impact clinical outcomes.

Recently, three of our UK grown innovations; OurPath; Oviva and Changing Health (current and previous DigitalHealth.London Accelerator companies) delivered impressive outcomes following a four month real word evidence trial led by Dr Tony Willis, diabetes Clinical Lead, North West London Collaboration of CCGs, where more than 400 Type-2 diabetes patients from 18 GP practices in North West London were offered one of the three digital therapeutic interventions.

But what is the quantitative value of Digital Health? Do apps and connected devices really improve patient outcomes? Will Digital Health clinical interventions create cost savings that the NHS can count on?  And most importantly what is growing body of ‘evidence’ that currently exists – whether randomised controlled trials or real world evidence?

We will be answering these questions and hearing directly from NHS England, NICE, NIHR on their vision for the future of digital therapeutics at our upcoming annual DigitalHealth.London/Collaborate Summit.

DigitalHealth.London will host its 2018 Collaborate Summit in London on 24 April, in central London, in partnership with NHS England, IQVIA and The Digital Therapeutics Alliance. This Summit is aimed at a national and international audience.

The title of the event is: ‘Digital Therapeutics in the NHS: How does the NHS realise the value of clinically proven digital therapeutics?’ and will offer senior stakeholders in the NHS insight into the evidence pathway for innovators, and will drive discussion and lively debate that will leverage, explore and challenge some of the insights that have come out of the recent IQVIA report which evaluated 571 RCTs for digital health solutions. Delegates will participate in a ‘Question Time’ live debate which aims to move us closer to a consensus on ‘what good looks like’ and what needs to happen to ensure good evidence gets into practice, structurally, behaviourally and capability-wise.

You will hear from an excellent line up of speakers and panellists including Jonathon Sheffield (CEO, NIHR); Will Smart (CIO, NHSE); Simon Dixon (Head of Digital Strategy, PHE); Dr Axel Heitmueller (MD, Imperial College Health Partners); Dr Mark Kelsey (Clinical Chair, NHS Southampton City CCG), Sarah Haywood (CEO, MedCity); Dr Mark Davis (CMO HiMSS UK); and Mark Campbell (Deputy Programme Director, NICE)

You will also have the opportunity to engage with digital therapeutic companies from around the world with best in class clinical evidence to understand ‘what good could look like’.

A recent report on 571 published randomised controlled trials of the quantitative value of Digital Health apps and connected devices on important metrics like weight loss, blood sugar control, depression scales, and hospitalisations, concluded that the vast majority of these efficacy studies have shown statistically significant benefits on health outcomes.  Few of these published clinical studies and results however, had been generated by digital therapeutic innovations developed in the UK.

But, a very important stream of work recently kicked off by NHS England, led by Dr Indra Joshi, Digital Health and AI Clinical Lead, backs the need for clear standards defining what good looks like, so that innovators know the bar to aim for.  Through a multi stakeholder steering and working group, the group aims to deliver a set of NICE endorsed Guidance for Digital Innovation for Commissioners and Innovators.

We are optimistic that by engaging in more activity like this, led by the ‘pioneers’ in our system who will drive the transformation needed for a sustainable health and care system, we can help to deliver better clinical outcomes and improve patient experience at the right cost

To register your interest to attend the event, please sign up here.

Join the #digitaltherapeutics conversation with #DHLCollaborate