A new study from Juniper Research found that health insurers’ digital therapy revenues will grow to $8 billion by 2026, from $1.1 billion in 2022; representing a growth of 610% over the next four years.
Digital therapies are clinically validated software for the treatment of chronic diseases, independently or in conjunction with other therapies.
The report found that digital therapies facilitate the proactive mitigation of chronic medical conditions before they require costly interventions; allowing health insurers to reduce long-term costs per patient. However, he stressed that these savings will be limited to health insurers in developed regions, where consumer devices and digitized health infrastructure are ubiquitous. As such, he noted that health insurers in Africa and Latin America will contribute less than 2% of revenue from health insurer-led digital therapies in 2026.
This new research Digital Therapeutics and Wellness: Key Trends, Business Models and Market Forecast 2022-2026, identified that insurers will also benefit from a continued shift of digital therapy providers towards engagement- and outcome-based payments. He recommends that therapeutics providers looking to capitalize on this trend prioritize the development of performance benchmarks, as demonstrating improvement and preventing patient dropout will become a direct cost issue.
Machine learning will shift to an advisory role as liability issues emerge
The report predicts that the number of people using digital therapies will increase by 381% over the next four years and recognizes that machine learning will be key to this growth by facilitating advanced data analysis, remote monitoring of patients and real-time conversational coaching. However, he warned that a continued lack of standards surrounding the use of machine learning in digital therapies will lead providers to limit its role in their offerings.
Research author Adam Wears explains, “As developers and healthcare providers increasingly grapple with liability and malpractice issues, machine learning will grow from a role facing the patient with a diagnostic tool offered via dashboards intended for service providers; be used by clinicians and specialists in a way akin to traditional computer-assisted diagnostics.