Dartmouth to Host Summit on Digital Therapeutics

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Key stakeholders to gather and explore paths to make digital health care accessible.

The Center for Technology and Behavioral Health logo

The Center for Technology and Behavioral Health will host its second digital health summit on Oct. 25 at the Hanover Inn.

The Clinically-Validated Digital Therapeutics: Innovations in Scientific Discovery, Clinical Applications, and Global Deployment event will gather experts from diverse sectors of the health care industry—researchers, providers, regulators, payers, and investors, as well as representatives from global pharma—to help shape a vision for making digital therapeutics accessible to all.

“The goal of the summit is to bring together a really broad group of stakeholders in the space of digital health, and have a shared dialogue about where are we at this moment in time and how we can work together to accelerate the pace at which we can get the most effective and most engaging tools into the hands of people all over the world,” says CTBH Director Lisa Marsch.

Digital therapeutics encompasses all clinically validated software used to prevent, treat, or manage a medical disorder or disease. That includes algorithms for better diabetes care that combine data from glucose monitors with virtual doctor visits to improve management of sugar levels; software designed to guide patients through the management of chronic pain; and mental health applications that can act like virtual coaches for people experiencing anxiety.

Digital therapeutics improve access to care, reduce the cost of treatment, deliver better clinical outcomes, and support healthy lifestyle modifications to help prevent or manage chronic conditions and ease disease burden.

There has been an explosion in the use of digital technology for health care delivery not just in the U.S. but all over the world and there is a lot to talk about in terms of legislation and payment models and models of deployments, says Marsch.

The summit will feature speakers involved with regulatory policy in addition to industry experts and scientists, from Dartmouth and other universities. “What I really love about this summit is that it brings the key players together in a more intimate capacity to discuss the real issues and talk about solutions for improving health care through innovation,” says Andy Molnar, CEO of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, a trade organization serving the digital therapeutics industry.

According to Marsch, multiple global pharmaceutical companies have been building digital health portfolios in the last year or two. A panel discussion will focus on how their movement into this space could be a game changer for the field by adding their might to ongoing efforts to ensure that digital therapeutics are included in state and national coverage frameworks.

Several afternoon talks and a poster session will highlight work by Dartmouth researchers in digital therapeutics for mental health and other health domains.

“We have a great group of colleagues around the Dartmouth community doing amazing research,” says Marsch, “but we also really want to have the most the biggest impact we can with the work that we do.”

To that end, the summit provides an opportunity for the scientific community to better understand the perspectives and decision-making processes of regulators and investors so that they can generate meaningful data that can accelerate the pace at which effective tools get in the hands of people, she says. On the other hand, it is also a forum to present the state of the science and to really underscore the importance of science-based tools to people in industry, and other decisionmakers such as payers and regulators.

“By facilitating open dialogue and shared learning,” Marsch says, “we can better navigate the rapidly evolving digital health world and aid the development of the most implementable tools that will have the most durable effects.”

Harini Barath