Rise of Digital Therapy

As an evolving society, we always find a solution to any problem thrown at us. Look how we modified our lifestyle as per the precautions required to live through a pandemic. The majority of communication that occurs today is through digital mode. The cafe talks have been replaced by clubhouse rooms, the dine outs have been replaced by food delivery apps. Basically, we were already in the process of complete digitisation and the occurrence of the pandemic just sped things up. 

Almost every aspect of our life has been modified by devices, So it shouldn’t come as a shock to say that we live in the era of digital therapy. The rise of digital therapy is based on the idea of getting the help of technology to deal with our chronic conditions. As per the American Psychological Association, millennials and Gen Z’s are more vulnerable to mental health issues than previous generations. The study concluded that six out of ten of them experience various types of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, and so on.

Although they are also more likely than previous generations to seek professional help, there is still a significant gap between those who seek and those who do not seek assistance. Experts suggest that in a world driven by technology, digital therapy would be able to bridge this gap. 

So, let’s dig into the evolution of digital therapy a bit more.

What is digital therapy?

The use of software, mobile apps, wearables, and other digital approaches as therapeutic interventions to address a variety of medical conditions is known as digital therapy. Digital therapy is one step further than traditional therapy ways where we use technology for our benefit. 

Traditional methods of treating mental health problems, such as medications and psychological interventions, do not appear to be effective for younger generations. They require a more tailored approach to dealing with their mental and emotional issues. That’s when the concept of digital therapy was born.

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As now we understand the concept of digital therapy, let’s look into how it works?

In essence, digital therapy is not dissimilar to traditional face-to-face therapeutic interventions. The cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) method is used in the majority of digital therapy practices. It is centred on the idea of improving the patient’s behavioural and lifestyle patterns through consistent guidance.

Digital therapy can be as basic as reminding patients what to do, what not to do, and other trigger warnings at specific times of the day or in specific situations. These days the mobile app can itself set the treatment schedule, we just have to follow it and can check our progress through the app itself. Just like this AI-powered chatbots are also being used by various platforms to provide regular guidance. 

Digital therapy has opened up doors for the ones who were finding it difficult to search for a psychologist in their locality, now they can interact with a remote psychologist or therapist within the app without having to walk to the clinic. This has been helpful for people suffering from social anxiety as they prefer interactions from the comfort of their homes. 

Digital therapy is a tremendous growth opportunity by empowering patients and healthcare professionals to achieve better results while lowering costs for payers. Think of digital therapy as a journey — a journey that spans all areas of the care required for a given condition. This journey centres around the particular person’s requirement as per their chronic condition. Like say, I suffer from Vitamin-D deficiency, so along with my medical treatment digital reminders of having sun-bath, setting up meal plans with food rich in Vitamin-D and many other small but necessary changes can be made with the digital therapy. 

Necessity is the mother of all inventions, and the current needs of this generation have brought upon a new rise, the Rise of digital therapy.

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