Opportunities in Japan’s neurology digital therapeutics market

Digital therapeutics (DTx) uses digital technology to remotely prevent, treat, or manage a wide range of conditions through data-driven interventions; GlobalData says several opportunities exist in the digital therapeutics market for neurological diseases in Japan. 

Shionogi & Co, a partner of Akili Interactive, a prescription digital medicine company of PureTech Health, has announced topline results of a Phase II study conducted in Japan for SDT-001, a digital therapeutic designed to improve measures of attention in children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

SDT-001 is a first-in-class technology delivered through an action video game experience. The technology presents specific sensory stimuli and simultaneous motor challenges designed to target and activate the neural systems that play a crucial role in attention function while using adaptive algorithms to personalise each patient’s treatment experience. 

ADHD is a major issue amongst the Japanese population under 15 years of age. However, according to a 2018 report, ‘ADHD labeling and treatment of Children in Japan’ by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, treatment with medication for ADHD is less favorable than psychosocial treatment. 

Venkat Kartheek Vale, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, said: “DTx has the potential to address unmet needs in neurological diseases. Moreover, increased investments from pharma companies to support technology-based companies, which are developing DTx to help in the further evolution of the landscape and bringing more digital interventions available to patients.” 

According to GlobalData’s ‘Disruptor Database’, CureApp SC, SDT-001, Yawn and VR-based depression treatment system are the digital health interventions approved or under development in Japan for different neurological diseases. 

Investments in DTx are growing significantly with the increased pace of technological advances and a growing body of evidence that digital interventions are safe and effective to use independently or alongside other therapies. 

Vale concluded: “DTx will play an important role in treating neurological diseases, as current pharmacological treatments are ineffective in achieving better results. A critical component of DTx’s success will be aligning stakeholders, including providers in mental health, leaders in patient advocacy, payers, industry partners, and regulatory agencies, to establish new standards in product development at every stage.” 

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