The German Federal Institute für Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) has added a new digital therapeutic to its digital health applications (DiGA) directory for public reimbursement.
Cara Care is the first DiGA that addresses gastroenterological issues and widespread digestive health problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), food and reflux intolerances.
The app has been available to prescribe as of earlier this month.
WHY IT MATTERS
Cara Care provides holistic treatments for intestinal health which are developed and led by physicians. The multimodal program combines diary tracking of nutrition, symptoms and medical data with guidance on dietary changes including recipes.
Psychological care in relation to the intestinal and abdominal problems is also offered in features such as the audio-guided hypnosis support.
According to the startup’s own research, symptoms are reduced by more than 45% within 100 days. German patients can undergo an online screening test before they request the prescription of the app at their GP or gastroenterology practice.
THE LARGER TREND
The Berlin-based startup has grown to a team of about 30 employees. So far, more than 650,000 app downloads have been registered.
With the Digital Healthcare Act (DVG) in 2019, Germany facilitated the prescription and reimbursement of digital health applications. The first DiGA apps were approved in October 2020.
ON THE RECORD
Jesaja Brinkmann, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Cara Care, said: “This means that over 11 million people with bowel syndrome will have free access to the multimodal digital therapy, Cara Care for irritable bowel syndrome.”
Prof Dr Stefan Lüth, Director and Senior Physician at Klinikum Brandenburg, added: “Irritable bowel syndrome is a complex clinical picture with numerous individual triggers. This means that its holistic approach can lead to better outcomes. I believe that the combination of digital tools and medicines can help achieve better outcomes by improving adherence and supporting crucial lifestyle changes.”