Why Study the Studies of PDTs?

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Prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) have great potential for treating a wide range of conditions, so studying the quality of the evidence supporting their efficacy and safety is important, says the corresponding author of a study on PDTS published in this month's Health Affairs.

Sanket S. Dhruva, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, discusses the reasons he and his colleagues set out to examine the research supporting prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) and the challenge of finding all the studies related to the 20 PDTs they focused on.

Prescription digital therapeutics “have tremendous potential to help diagnose and treat important health conditions that affect patients both in the United State and worldwide,” said Dhruva.

But Dhruva said that as far as he and his colleagues know, an evaluation of the evidence for PDTs has not been done.

"We wanted to know what is the quality of the evidence supporting prescription digital therapeutics," he said.

Although PDTs are a small subset of all the digital therapeutics, Dhruva said "we would expect these to be the cream of crop in terms of the quality of the evidence, because they received FDA authorization."

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