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The Emerging Role of Digital Therapeutics in Medical, Surgical and Radiation Oncology


Digital therapeutics (DTx) are software interventions of therapeutic value supported by scientific evidence to prevent, manage, and treat a broad spectrum of physical, mental and behavioral conditions. Current data supports integration in the setting of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, opioid dependence, and insomnia. Recent clinical studies have shown emergence of DTx as potential solutions in the cancer care continuum to improve medication adherence, chemotherapy tolerance, and even overall survival. In addition, evidence suggests that these digital interventions may have a significant impact on lowering the cost of health care for current patients and cancer survivors. Given the potential financial toxicity for oncology patients, these modalities, such as digital patient-reported outcomes (PROs), are being actively investigated to determine the economic benefits as well. As DTx emerge in medical, surgical and radiation oncology, further studies are needed to ensure the needs of patients are met with respect to digital literacy and equity. In this review, we will explore these new modalities and the spectrum of possible future benefits.

Keywords: Digital therapeutics, digital health, patient-reported outcomes, quality of life, overall survival, software as a medical device, virtual reality


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