CureApp, Inc. was notified by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on April 26, 2022 that the company had received the medical device regulatory approval of an digital therapeutic app for Hypertension. This marks the first time a standalone software app supporting doctors and patients has received medical device regulatory approval in Japan, and is the first app addressing hypertension to be approved in the world. Preparations are now underway to receive reimbursement and launch the app in 2022.
Lifestyle modification is a vitally important part of treating essential hypertension, regardless of blood pressure classification. However, lifestyle modifications are dependent on the patient’s mindset and motivation, and workplace and home environment, and are difficult to maintain. Even with the involvement of a medical institution, successfully implementing such changes requires a significant amount of effort, and there are many limitations to what busy doctors can achieve.
Large numbers of patients suffer from hypertension in Japan, some 70% of these patients have either not achieved their anti-hypertensive goals, or have gone untreated. In addition, essential hypertension presents the single greatest risk factor of cerebrovascular diseases and heart diseases, and medical expenses related to hypertension continues to increase year after year
About this app
This app provides direct treatment guidance that has been tailored to each individual patient, including advice on diet, exercise, sleep, and other aspects of their lifestyle, and information intended to encourage behavioral improvements based on information entered by the patient, via their smartphone. Encouraging lifestyle changes and aiding patients acquire correct lifestyle habits helps patients make sustainable lifestyle changes, and is intended to bring about therapeutic efficacy in the form of lowering blood pressure by reducing salt intake and weight loss. The version of the app available to physicians allows physicians to check a patient’s daily progress toward implementing lifestyle changes, and is intended to contribute in a meaningful way toward improving the quality of medical care provided within a limited time frame.
The FY2022 revision of the national medical payment system added the “Addition of Medical Management of Software as a Medical Device, etc.”, and this marks the first case of a standalone software application acting as a doctor and patient aid receiving pharmaceutical approval. This is also the first time in the world medical device regulatory approval has been granted for DTx in the field of hypertension.
“We are proud to announce a new digital therapeutics solution for hypertension, following on from our digital therapeutics app for nicotine addiction. Hypertension is a disease that many suffer from in silence. It is a notoriously difficult disease to manage and treat, and one that requires fundamental lifestyle changes. Patients tend to have a low sense of urgency toward treating this disease while they still have few subjective symptoms of the disease, and it is difficult to maintain the level of behavioral change needed to address the underlying causes of the disease. The app acts as an adjunctive therapy in providing guidance during physicians consultations, and assists patients outside of consultations in approaching lifestyle changes in the correct way to get to the root cause. The app also provides physicians with a way to catch up on measures implemented during gaps in the patient’s treatment and their lifestyle habits, and makes it possible to provide better quality healthcare that is better tailored to the needs of the individual patient.”
Kohta Satake, M.D. and Representative Director and CEO of CureApp, Inc.