This advisory introduces readers to digital therapeutics (DTx) and the benefits of their use in behavioral health. It describes the research, regulatory, and reimbursement implications for DTx as well as selection and implementation considerations.

Key Takeaways


  • “DTx can be effective independent or complementary services in the management and treatment of mental health conditions and substance use disorders. “
  • “Users should be aware that not all healthcare applications for mental health conditions and substance use disorders have an evidence base for therapeutic use.” 
  • “At least five federal agencies have initiatives to develop, research, review, regulate, distribute, and address payment for DTx.” 
  • “At this time, few health plans cover prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs), but payers continue to explore and expand this area.” 
  • “For DTx to increase behavioral health equity, they must be designed and implemented to account for differences in health and digital literacy and to be culturally and linguistically appropriate, adaptable to variable service settings, and affordable and accessible for all users. “
  • Continued research is needed on the efficacy of DTx, balanced with ongoing consideration of costs, patient/client privacy, and protection of health data.


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