How impactful are digital therapeutics? This data service will tell us.

Getting great clinical trial results for a medtech product is one thing. Convincing payers to cover it for patient care is a whole other beast.

As it turns out, the best tool for wrangling that beast may be data—specifically, health economics data.

Curavit Clinical Research recently launched a Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) service for digital therapeutics clinical trials.

With connections to claims and health data networks, the decentralized platform will help assess the health economics value of new clinical products for both individual patients and populations. 

The goal? To make it easier to bring life-changing digital therapeutics to market.

Image: Pexels
Image: Pexels

Why look at economics at the clinical trial stage?

While clinical trials evaluate whether a product is effective and/or safe, green lights with those factors don’t guarantee a new device or therapy will succeed.

This is especially true when it comes to new classes of products. As is the case with digital therapeutics.

Digital therapeutics—or software that helps treat a medical conditions, sometimes called DTx—have been making a splash, especially in chronic disease management. These innovations bring care to patients via their phones and tablets, VR devices, and sensors. 

Though early evidence suggests that digital therapeutics can drive down patient care costs, the healthcare industry needs more data to be able to vouch for their increased insurance coverage and availability. 

For instance, DTx company MedRhythms has been working with Curavit on a prospectively-enrolled clinical trial. The company is hoping that generating data on their neurorehabilitation system’s financial impact on chronic stroke treatment will give them a better shot at coverage and reimbursement.

Owen McCarthy, MedRhythms president and co-founder, said: “In conjunction with clinical outcomes, HEOR assessments are an indispensable part of the evidence package needed to ‘speak the same language’ with payers and gain traction with a new prescription-only product.”

In other words, HEOR data could help companies make a case for increasing access to these products as treatment options.

Our perspective: Rethinking the power of medtech clinical trials

Clinical trials are part of the bedrock of medical innovation. But that doesn’t mean they can’t (or shouldn’t be rethought a disrupted). 

Clinical research companies have held venture investors’ attention for some time. And just over a year ago, we discussed the rising availability of decentralized and networked clinical trials, which aim to increase representation of women and other historically-underrepresented groups in clinical data. Last year, Curavit itself even launched a DEI planning toolkit for their decentralized clinical trials.

The inclusion of health economics assessments in this critical stage of a product’s development will bolster individual products—and likely the entire DTx field—as they face wary payors and stiff venture competition. 

In the end, we’re excited to see patients benefit from more access to these therapeutics, giving them more options for leading fuller, healthier lives—even with chronic conditions.

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