DTx potential highlighted in ‘Leveraging Digital Technology in Healthcare’ paper

Prod Commission Paper


Cardihab’s digital cardiac rehabilitation program was recently highlighted as a case study in the Australian Government Productivity Commission's paper, ‘Leveraging Digital Technology in Healthcare’. The paper explored how digital technology can enhance patient outcomes and boost productivity within the healthcare sector, highlighting the potential for significant cost savings and efficiencies through improved integration of digital technologies. 

Recommendations included a clearer definition of digital therapeutics (DTx) to distinguish clinically tested prevention or management platforms from general wellness apps. The report emphasised the value of well-defined digital technologies in enabling patients and healthcare providers to access high-quality care. It also noted that these technologies can deliver care in a cost-effective and labor-efficient manner, empowering patients to manage their health from the convenience of their homes. 


Cardihab’s digital cardiac rehabilitation solution meets all three of the following criteria used in this report: 



The Commission estimates that as at April 2024, a total of only 31 devices that could be classified as DTx were listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). 


Some key points in the analysis of a DTx included: 

  • DTx can enhance access without compromising quality of care.
  • DTx can improve access to treatments for a range of chronic conditions (figure 4.1), and allow patients to access treatment via their smartphones, tablets or laptops. 
  • DTx can be more, or equally as effective as traditional treatments.
  • By allowing patients to complete a round of treatment independently from the comfort of their own homes, DTx can not only reduce costs, but improve access to treatment.
  • DTx offer considerable labour-saving potential. As treatments are provided as part of a blended care model or self-administered, labour costs can be reduced and scarce practitioner time freed up.
  • Reduced travel and time costs can also improve access to care for patients who would otherwise have to attend outpatient clinics.




Cardihab Digital Cardiac Rehabilitation program - 'Leveraging digital technology in healthcare' case study

The increase in convenience offered by DTx encourages patients to seek treatment where they previously
would not have. For example, Cardihab’s Digital Cardiac Rehabilitation programme greatly increased
participation in cardiac rehabilitation in one study, as those who declined traditional models of care were
more willing to use a digital treatment program (Cardihab 2020).

The case study included in the report is below: