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Digital therapeutics to accelerate better patient management : Dr. Arbinder Singal

Nandita Vijay,  Bengaluru
Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Digital therapeutics or DTx is making a difference in the healthcare landscape  with promising outcomes, scientifically curated therapies, better patient management programs and personalized care. However, there is still a lot of interest to ascertain how it is different from any other chronic disease management solutions, stated Dr. Arbinder Singal, CEO & Cofounder, Fitterfly.

The conventional way of treating diabetes with pills, insulin and other supportive medication helps, but the outcomes are not  always as impactful as when complemented with DTx programs, he added.

Reports state that  India is home to 77 million diabetes and ranks  second globally after China which accounts for 116 million cases.
It  is here Fitterfly as a health-tech company is engaged in Digital Therapeutics. It  has devised   smart, personalised technology and science to design diabetes care programs.  “Our published results have shown a 1.22 points reduction of HbA1c in 3 months for members enrolled for a diabetes management program which is  equivalent to 30% lowering of blood sugar.  Basic diabetes medicines like Metformin reduced HbA1C by 0.95 points in the same period.  When 30% of patients could reduce their diabetes medications in the same time frame, it decreases healthcare spending, said Dr Singal.
The expenditure expected for the first five years of living with diabetes is approximated at  a direct cost of Rs 36,000 annually covering medicine, hospitalisation, lab tests, transport, nutrition, other tests for foot and eye care. The indirect cost as per our estimates is Rs 60,000 per year  with a loss of income associated with absenteeism and complications on account of diabetes. The cost to the organisation is Rs 180, 000 per year  on account of absenteeism,  loss of productivity of peers, subordinates, and managers, he said.
Here DTx comes to the rescue. While it might seem like an additional expense initially to enroll in a DTx program, it can significantly  bring down the cost to control type 2 diabetes. In fact, people living with diabetes for less than 10 years can reverse it. This is scientifically known as diabetes remission with proper personalized care and evidence-based, clinically-designed DTx programs,  which limit  medical expenses in the long-run, Dr Singal told Pharmabiz.
Even if diabetes reversal is not an option, reducing HbA1c through DTx lowers risks of diabetes-related complications, need for more medications and even decreases the need for insulin shots which leads to  considerable savings on healthcare costs. Further, DTx program aids in  building good  lifestyle habits, educates on prevention and reversing the condition.  Its multidisciplinary approach with nutrition, fitness and mental well-being with  coaches help individuals   stay motivated, dodge irritable moods, food cravings and focus on proper nutrition and physical activity, he said.

Hence, digitally-driven therapies will not only improve the personalized care ensure positive which  can accelerate better patient management, said Dr Singal.


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