Patients nowadays have access to an enormous range of medical knowledge through social media, websites and health apps (in combination with wearables). The latter have become increasingly popular in recent years because of their ability to monitor in real time pulse, blood pressure, blood glucose levels and other parameters. Doctors are also intrigued by the promising opportunities of technological innovation. Digital health products that provide diagnostic and therapeutic options therefore have tremendous social and economic potential. According to market research, even though tremendous revenue is already being generated, the digital health industry is still in its infancy and innovative start-ups have many promising opportunities to grow, especially in Europe.
One of many examples is the mySugr app, developed by an Austrian start-up and recently sold to major industry player Roche Diabetes Care. The app helps medical teams adjust diabetes therapy and helps patients manage their everyday lives (“making diabetes suck less“). By law, the app is registered as a medical device, but can be quite difficult to determine when software should be considered a medical device. A controversial case was brought before the ECJ for a preliminary ruling last year, because the classification of the software was in dispute.