IQVIA analyzed four key areas in regards to digital health trends: innovation, evidence, regulation, and adoption. The report, by the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, found that “more than 90,000 digital health apps [were] added [to app stores worldwide] in 2020”, bringing the total apps available to consumers to over 350,000. Apps can be typically split into two categories: health condition management, which now account for 47% of the market, and wellness management. “Mental health (22% of apps), diabetes (15%), and cardiovascular disease-related (10%) apps [account] for almost half of disease-specific apps.”
Yet, “while software developers of digital health apps initially commercialized through public app stores under a direct-to-consumer business model, apps providing the most significant health benefits focus increasingly on payers and employers.” The US market, in particular, is starting to see increased reimbursement by payers and employers as they are often looking to offset health costs and ensure health and wellness among its users. This may further entice software developers to focus more on this sector, rather than consumers directly, when it comes to their commercialization pathways.
Additionally, in the US, nearly half of physicians (44%) are interested in prescribing medical apps for patients as are more than two-thirds (70%) “of formulary decision-makers within hospitals, IDNs, MCOs and PBMs — who either currently provide coverage for [digital therapeutics] (25%) or have expressed interest in providing coverage (45%).” Major barriers prevent more widespread adoption though, including a lack of criteria standardization for app evaluation by governing bodies as well as a clear reimbursement process yet to be established by Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Click here to read Digital Health Trends 2021: Innovation, Evidence, Regulation, and Adoption.