SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Korea Bizwire) – A study by professor Chung Kyongmee and her team at Yonsei University’s Psychology Department published in the recent issue of the Korean Journal of Psychology reveals a scarcity of knowledge about digital therapeutics, often referred to as digital treatment devices. However, positive perceptions have been identified.
To examine the current usage and perception of digital therapeutics, the research team conducted a survey of 500 adults aged 20 to 60 nationwide.
Digital therapeutics encompass software medical devices used for the treatment, prevention, and management of medical disorders and diseases. Applications, wearable devices, and games designed to treat conditions such as depression and anxiety fall under this category.
The survey results indicated that only 16.8 percent of respondents had heard of digital therapeutics, with 6 percent having actual usage experience. Of the participants, 57.8 percent believed that digital therapeutics would be ‘helpful’ or ‘very helpful’ in treating mental health-related issues. Similarly, 49.8 percent and 58.2 percent thought it would be beneficial for prevention and management, respectively.
The research team highlighted the significance of interpreting perceptions and preferences regarding digital therapeutics at a time when awareness and usage are notably low.
“With over half of the participants believing that digital therapeutics align with the intended purpose of treating, preventing, and managing medical challenges, a positive perception suggests a promising position for the widespread adoption of digital therapeutics as a method of mental health service delivery,” the researchers noted.
Regarding specific areas respondents wished to address using digital therapeutics, stress management ranked highest at 61.8 percent, followed by emotional issues such as depression and anxiety at 57.7 percent, and lifestyle-related problems like sleep and eating habits at 39.6 percent.
When asked about preferred device types, 70.2 percent of respondents chose mobile phones, and the most preferred types of digital content were text, audio, and video at 30.8 percent.
Factors considered important in the selection of digital therapeutics included ‘continuous updates,’ ‘proven program effectiveness,’ and ‘symptom-tailored programs.’
However, 40 percent of respondents expressed concerns about the difficulty of maintaining privacy related to device usage.
The research team emphasized that users, being aware that technology-based services are primarily provided through apps or the internet, are concerned about the extensive collection of sensitive personal information and the potential for leaks. They suggested that service providers transparently disclose how such services collect, preserve, and share personal information to alleviate user concerns.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)