Skip to main content
main content, press tab to continue

Integrating digital therapeutics into workplace health strategies

By Kazune Kozen | June 21, 2024

How digital therapeutics are revolutionising workplace health with personalised, AI-driven care.
Benessere integrato|Health and Benefits

As Gandhi once famously proclaimed: “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” This principle holds especially true in the modern workplace, where the wellbeing of employees is increasingly recognised as a cornerstone of corporate success.

The NHS is facing significant challenges in meeting unprecedented increases in demand for healthcare, resulting in long waiting lists. Although not a new trend, waiting times for consultant-led elective care remain far higher than pre-COVID. Long waiting times are also being seen in emergency care with 1.6 million people waiting more than four hours in A&E between May 2023 and April 2024.[1]

WTW’s GB private medical insurance (PMI) claims data shows increasing use rates as employers across all sectors find themselves impacted by this increasing cost trend.

Meanwhile, rather than simply wanting to be supported by PMI when they are ill, employees have become far more conscious of their health and wellbeing in general, and proactive self-care and preventative wellbeing rather than cure has become the new edict.

Chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases, are predicted to lead to 84% of deaths by 2030[2]. Yet medical professionals have limited capacity to provide lifelong management or monitor compliance with medication regimes.

Happily, the explosion of digital health over the last decade has shown significant positive impact on chronic disease management, reducing the incidence of major cardiovascular events[3] and re-admission rates and providing better control of type 2 diabetes[4].

As businesses acknowledge the integral link that technology now provides between a healthy workforce and enhanced productivity, digital therapeutics (DTx) now looks set to hold a key position in the benefits ecosystem.

Here, we explore what the latest digital therapeutics look like and how you can successfully embed them into workplace health strategies.

What are digital therapeutics

According to the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, digital therapeutics deliver ‘evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients that are driven by high quality software programmes to prevent, manage, or treat a broad spectrum of physical, mental and behavioural conditions.’

Digital therapeutics products are reviewed and approved by regulators to supplement the product claims regarding their risks, efficacy and intended use, which differentiates them from “digital medicine” and “digital health”. DTx can be used as standalone therapies, or in conjunction with more traditional in-person care or with certain devices to optimise health outcomes.

It's anticipated that the biggest applications for DTx will be for conditions that are poorly addressed by the current healthcare system including diabetes, weight loss, chronic respiratory diseases and developmental disorders.[5]

DTx also often harness the power of AI algorithms, analysing vast amounts of data to identify patterns and correlations, and allowing for the creation of customised treatment plans that take into account factors such as lifestyle, preferences and even co-morbidities.

How are digital therapeutics being used

Musculoskeletal diseases

According to the WTW 2024 Global Medical Trends Survey, musculoskeletal disorders remain the top condition - by incidence and cost - of PMI plans globally. Such conditions often involve chronic pain, which can significantly impact employees’ overall wellbeing and productivity.

DTx in this area offer a range of pain management and rehabilitation solutions to prevent minor discomfort from escalating into debilitating conditions - and frequent absences. These include virtual reality therapy, mindfulness meditation apps, real-time posture correction guidance, ergonomic assessments and tips and personalised exercise routines.

Physical therapy

One of the most successful applications of DTx is digital physical therapy, where initial ‘human’ expertise and input is combined with ongoing digital, AI-based support.

While a clinical expert will initially onboard an employee and design a custom programme for them, a digital personal trainer will then guide them through subsequent exercise sessions. State-of-the-art motion tracking detects precise movement and gives live feedback on where they might be performing an exercise incorrectly.

This real-time, evidenced feedback ensures correct form is used in every training session to deliver faster outcomes for employees. The software also allows them to easily keep track of their progress in terms not just of numbers of repetitions, but also the accuracy of poses.

Data gathered is then fed back to the ‘real’ doctor to review and adjust the routine according to how the employee is progressing, adapting exercises to their precise needs.

This hyper-personalised approach to physical therapy has now emerged as an often more effective solution to predict, prevent and treat pain than traditional exercise programmes.

Type 2 diabetes

Systematic behavioural interventions targeting diet and exercise, which are traditionally delivered through face-to-face communication, are now being tested for digital delivery.

For example, one of the DTx companies offers behavioural intervention for diabetes using a social network with a year-long educational curriculum, personalised health coaching and support through a small peer group. This program also uses connected devices to track people’s nutrition, activity and weight.[6]

 Mental health support

DTx products have been approved for treating mental health and psychiatric diseases including insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficient hyperactivity disorder and depression.

Digital therapeutics often use established psychological methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or mindfulness practices but adapted into interactive formats that users can engage with via smartphones or online, alone or in addition to prescribed medications. These tools are showing promising results in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. CBT is also showing rapid diversification in areas such as substance abuse disorders.

Such platforms can tailor interventions based on the user’s specific symptoms, preferences and progress. For example, an app might adjust the difficulty or focus of tasks based on user feedback or automatically collected data, such as mood logs or activity levels.

Unlike traditional therapy sessions that occur weekly or biweekly, digital therapeutics can offer daily support. Automated reminders, motivational messages and tracking features help users stay engaged and can provide immediate coping techniques during difficult moments.

For those concerned about stigma or privacy, DTx can also offer a discreet way to seek help. User data is typically protected under privacy laws, ensuring confidentiality.

Medication adherence

DTx is showing promising results in this area by helping people to optimise the benefits of conventional pharmaceutical therapies. One of the DTx developers has created a robot which uses AI paired with psychological modelling to keep users adhering to their recommended drug regimens for a longer duration through personalised conversations.

Another company in the U.S. has developed a pill with an ingestible sensor so that ingestion of the pill can be monitored via a sensor patch worn by the patient. This sensor sends a digital record to the healthcare providers with the user's consent, so that they can monitor various metrics and understand the user’s responses to the medication.[5]

 The benefits of digital therapeutics

Part of the broader trend towards personalised healthcare, DTx can improve the effectiveness of treatment with real-time monitoring and feedback enabling healthcare professionals to track outcomes and make informed decisions about new treatment plans as required.

It also enhances engagement and adherence by making tailored interventions more relevant and meaningful to individual employees’ health needs, ensuring that the treatment aligns with the specific medical conditions, preferences and response patterns to treatments.

Always-on technology also allows employees to use the therapies when and where suits them best - on the go or from the comfort and convenience of their own home.

For employers, DTx can yield cost-effective alternatives to traditional treatments such as in-person visits and mean that access to healthcare and wellbeing support can be shared further across more of the workforce.

How you can introduce digital therapeutics

  • Understand employee health needs: Begin by assessing the key health challenges which are specific to your workforce. Consider data analytics on your health-related data sources – health screening, occupational health, GP, PMI and income protection in order to identify areas where intervention would have most impact.
  • Prioritise user-friendly platforms: Select digital therapeutics that match your population needs and preferences.
  • Educate and drive engagement: Launch education campaigns to explain the benefits of digital therapeutics. Emphasise data privacy, share success stories and conduct training to encourage use.
  • Monitor and measure: Use clear metrics to evaluate effectiveness, track engagement and adapt strategies over time to ensure ongoing relevance.

Democratising employee healthcare

DTx are increasingly being recognised for their potential to democratise employee healthcare. DTx-led workplace programmes can increase healthcare equity by offering access to effective treatments for those who may not be able to access in-person care due to geographical or financial limitations.

They are becoming an increasingly vital component of employee health and wellbeing support, complementing traditional therapies and, in some cases, providing a first line of intervention.

Get in touch

If you would like to learn more about how to integrate DTx in your healthcare programme to modernise and personalise care, speak to your WTW consultant or complete the form opposite (or below on a mobile) to receive information on which DTx treatment areas will be most relevant to your organisation.


  1. BMA. “NHS backlog data analysis”. May 2024 Return to article
  2. The health benefits and business potential of digital therapeutics Return to article
  3. Digital Health Intervention in Acute Myocardial Infarction Return to article
  4. A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes Return to article
  5. Dang A, Arora D, Rane P. Role of digital therapeutics and the changing future of healthcare. J Family Med Prim Care. 2020 May 31;9(5):2207-2213. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_105_20. PMID: 32754475; PMCID: PMC7380804. Return to article
  6. Tips for Designing for Behavior Change Return to article

GB Wellbeing data and clinical insights lead
email Email

Related content tags, list of links Article Wellbeing Health and Benefits United Kingdom
Contact us