This guest article is by Sean Duffy, CEO and Co-Founder, Omada Health
Three out of four Americans will die of a disease that could be avoided—if only they could re-route their unhealthy habits. A new category of medicine, digital therapeutics, wants to change the course of these conditions — and of history.
Doctors have known for decades that, in order to prevent disease or its complications, they were going to have to get into people’s living rooms and convince them to change everyday behaviors that would very likely kill them. To that end, back in the early ’90s, health institutions started trying to intervene largely via the cutting-edge technology that existed at the time: phone calls. At-risk populations were dialed up and encouraged to take steps that could ward off heart disease, diabetes complications, lung cancer and other avoidable conditions that cause 75% of Americans to die prematurely.
As you can imagine, these calls largely flopped. A phone interaction led by a stranger who interrupts your dinner hour, no matter how well-intentioned, felt like more like an intrusion than meaningful support.
Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sciencebiz/2014/04/17/what-if-doctors-could-finally-prescribe-behavior-change/#what-if-doctors-could-finally-prescribe-behavior-change