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January 20, 2022

5 Digital Health Predictions for 2022

Commentary
HealthXL Team & HealthXL Community
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HealthXLs predictions for 2022 are coming late in January so you can separate the signal from the noise. For our 2022 predictions we’ve collected inputs from the wider digital health community to give you the full picture from diverse experts. 


We predict Pharma will continue to focus on Companion DTx

The HealthXL community predicts in the next 18-24 months pharmaceutical companies are more likely to focus on companion DTx than standalone. We expect pharma will continue the trend of retrofitting digital products to their drugs as a way to differentiate them and create more valuable products. To see an increase in pharma adoption of standalone DTx, we anticipate reimbursement for these solutions will need to be comparable to existing therapies (Eg, Aetna’s policy documents indicate the payer wasn't convinced by the results of studies conducted by some DTx products). Until then, we aren’t likely to see large pharma budgets for standalone solutions. 


We predict higher quality digital endpoints will arise from the crowd

DiMe reported their crowdsource library of digital endpoints grew from 34 unique endpoints and 12 sponsors in 2019 to 225 unique endpoints and 69 sponsors by September 2021. With several hundred unique digital endpoints already on the market, there are expectations the space will only continue to grow. However, a crowded and confusing space makes it challenging to determine the best measures. We predict that amongst this crowded market, those that are being validated and utilised as primary endpoints in drug trials will gain significant attention.


We predict there will be initiatives to increase clinician digital health education

While some HCPs are eager to adopt digital health, we’ve seen challenges in this last mile delivery. For example, even though Germany has 28 approved DiGA solutions, prescriptions have not yet taken off. To drive adoption we will see new CME curriculum focused on digital health education. Programs such as Weill Cornell Medicine’s Center for Virtual Care, the  Boehringer Ingelheim DH academy, and the The Topol Programme for Digital Fellowships in Healthcare in the UK, have recently been established for practicing medical professionals. For future medical professionals, we predict digital health education will become more embedded into traditional medical school programs. Our HealthXL community believes med students could be nurtured early via university medical programs that include education around DTx and telemedicine. This could be a future solution to the adoption challenges seen today. 

We predict fewer IPOs - more M&A and hopefully more realistic valuations 

For some companies, big late stage funding rounds translated to massive valuations in 2021. In 2022 we predict there will be fewer IPOs as valuations for public and private digital health companies recalibrate to more realistic numbers. However, there may be an increase in consolidation by private equity firms of digital health companies as well as strategic M&A. Much of the M&A may come from larger corporations who can still afford high valuations and where business model pressures from changing market dynamics are acute. 


We predict digital health approvals and activations won’t be as high as people expect
We anticipate long trial times will lead to delays and drop outs in digital health reimbursement pathways. We’ve also seen countries face challenges in determining the appropriate approval criteria and regulatory bodies to vet solutions. These systematic setup delays may also decrease the number of approvals and activations seen in the next year. 

We’re looking forward to seeing all that’s to come in digital health throughout this next year! Join our HealthXL community to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in the space. 


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Connect with peers and share insights

Don't miss out on the discussion of the latest insights and reports on digital health. Meet with peers and take a deep dive for 75 minutes. Unlike at webinars, you can freely exchange experiences and insights to solve challenges and design the future of DTx.

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The healthcare industry is undergoing a digital transformation and extended reality (XR) technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are expected to play a significant role in this change in the next few years. Apply now to join this Masterclass led by Nemanja Kovačev, MedTech Expert at HTEC Group.

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