23/04/2020 | BlogPost

Capitalizing on the potential of digital therapeutics during this health emergency

Gerry Chillè | Sr Partner Digital Therapeutics, Healthware Group


It is clear that the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting social impact on our lives, and this is also true for the impact that it will have on the entire healthcare field and the way people will look for and receive healthcare.

We are already seeing the first signs of this change as healthcare facilities and medical systems on the front line of the emergency have come close to collapse, and many people that had already had to deal with other health conditions have been unable to see their doctors or specialists in person for weeks at a time.

As social distancing guidelines and quarantines are in effect, Digital Therapeutics are beginning to fill the gap, as they can integrate into existing treatment paradigms, or in some cases replace them with data that suggests clinical efficacy. To this point, and realizing the surge in need for supporting people that are experiencing stress, anxiety and depression during the COVID emergency, the FDA has released guidelines and enforcement policies to allow mental health apps to be prescribed and also get pre-market clearance to advertise claims of benefit for those conditions, under certain situations, even without the clinical validation to yet support them. Governments are also adapting to the needs brought about by social distancing, with actions meanto to obligate private insurers to cover the costs of doctors’ visits, even if done by video and not in the doctor’s office.

A recent article in Forbes goes in depth on these topics, and looks at the positive impact that DTx  (as digital therapeutics are also known) can have on the delivery of healthcare as well as the convenience it provides to patients and the doctors that treat them. In the end, the article illustrate show the COVID-19 emergency i salso bringing about the acceleration of the DTx revolution.

Here at Healthware we are no strangers to this concept. For the last 5 years we have been promoting DTx adoption and working on the build of DTx solutions in a variety of therapeutic areas, on behalf of our pharmaceutical clients. Part of what we do is to also provide support in helping to navigate the fast changing regulatory framework. As part of this effort, we are proud to support the efforts of the the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, of which our CEO and founder, Roberto Ascione, is a founding advisor.

To focus on the development of digital therapies, we also launched Healthware Labs, whose mission is to help our partners in pharma, device and insurance companies design effective and scalable DTx solutions. Furthermore, as Frontiers Health co-hosts, Healthware also has direct access to a global ecosystem of digital health scale-up and start-up companies, keeping us at the frontline of what’s new in the space and via which we are able to generate partnership opportunities for both the startups and our clients.

  • Digital health
  • Digital health revolution
  • Digital Health Transformation
  • Digital Therapies
  • HCP
  • Patient Journey
Gerry Chillè

Gerry has spent his life breaking things apart, mixing the pieces up with other objects, and trying to build something new from them.
Today he is the General Partner and Managing Director of the Digital Therapeutics division, in charge of an evolving DTx pipeline. He holds a BFA degree from the State University of New York, and MBA credits at the University of Phoenix.