“Cara Care for IBS” approved as a prescription digital therapeutic – German health insurances will reimburse the costs with a medical prescription for 90% of Germans
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) gain access to a prescription digital therapeutic. The multimodal treatment is based on nutrition therapy, elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy, and gut-directed hypnosis as recommended by the new German IBS guidelines.
(Berlin, 03.01.22) Cara Care for IBS, the first prescription digital therapeutic for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), developed by HiDoc Technologies GmbH, will be approved as a digital health application (DiGA) as of January 1, 2022. This means physicians can prescribe the medical device to patients with IBS in the future. All statutory health insurances assume the costs without additional payments under the Digital Healthcare Act (DVG).
According to epidemiological data, some 17 percent of people in Germany suffer from IBS. Hence, IBS constitutes one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders and not only affects physical well-being, but also mental health in many cases. A large number of patients do not receive a correct diagnosis and therapy. IBS results in enormous costs for the German healthcare system. This is caused by redundant diagnostic procedures, the prescription of expensive medication that is not always effective, and regular visits to the doctors.
A pilot study could show within the approval process that Cara Care for IBS enables patients, through nutritional recommendations, audio-guided hypnosis, and behavioral therapy exercises, to achieve a significantly improved quality of life. At the same time, a large proportion of patients can considerably reduce the severity of symptoms by means of multimodal therapy. The therapy concept by Cara Care for IBS utilizes a personalized medicine approach and is in line with the most recent German S3-guideline from 2021.
Health apps have proven their worth particularly when it comes to treating chronic diseases. Since October 2020, there have been so-called “apps on prescription”– software-based medical devices that were carefully assessed by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) and have to comply with quality requirements in order to be reimbursed by the statutory health insurances. An increasing number of private health insurances are currently following suit and are reimbursing apps on prescription as well.
Jesaja Brinkmann, co-founder and co-CEO at HiDoc Technologies, explains, “For health insurances to fully reimburse a holistic IBS therapeutic has always been a dream of ours. Until now, millions of patients have been left to deal with their own unpleasant symptoms in what is one of the best healthcare systems worldwide. Extensive and free access to multimodal treatment is now finally available, which has long been recommended in the guidelines. Patients can now conveniently access their personalized digital therapeutic around the clock via an app to take steps towards a better life.“
Prof. Dr. med. Martin Storr, Specialist for Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and a member of national and European Guideline Commissions, explains, “I’m delighted about the approval of Cara Care for IBS as a prescribable digital health application. Clinical studies prove that nutritional programs such as the low FODMAP diet can lead to a significantly improved quality of life for a widespread clinical condition such as IBS. And all the better if patients can be digitally supported and motivated here.“
“We are very happy that we were able to successfully pass the rigorous approval process. When developing Cara Care for IBS, it was particularly important for us to combine intestinal health with innovative solutions to facilitate the best possible digital therapeutic for IBS patients”, says Felix Köhler, Chief Operating Officer at HiDoc Technologies.
Dr. med. André Sommer, co-founder and co-CEO at HiDoc Technologies goes on to say: “We are thrilled that we are now able to provide even better help for our patients. It ties in with our previous success: more than 700,000 downloads in Germany and the USA, and an international App Store rating of 4.8 speak for themselves. We are delighted about the trust placed in us by the Federal Institute and our users!”
Cara Care for IBS can therefore be prescribed by doctors with immediate effect and can be found in most of the drugs lists of practice management systems. The prescription is issued via the public health insurance prescription “Muster 16”. The prescription must include the product name “Cara Care for IBS“, the Pharmacy Central Number (PZN) as well as the prescription duration of 3 months.
Further information on Cara Care for IBS can be found at: https://cara.care/
About HiDoc Technologies GmbHWith Cara Care for IBS, the Berlin digital health startup HighDoc Technologies GmbH has developed the first digital health application (DiGA) for use with IBS that can be prescribed by doctors, and meets the highest safety standards. The DiGA was approved by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), and since January 2022 can be reimbursed by all statutory health insurances as part of the Digital Healthcare Act (DGV). Cara Care for IBS was developed by physicians, and it continues to be managed by a team of medical experts. Nutritionists, psychologists and specialists endow Cara Care with a holistic approach. In addition to Cara Care for IBS, the company also has medical devices for heartburn-related conditions and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases ( Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis) on the market. Further therapeutic areas are currently being developed.
The focus of Cara Care for IBS lies in combining the most innovative research knowledge on gastrointestinal health from clinical practice with behavioral design approaches – personalized, motivating and always available via smartphone. The goal of the DiGA is to analyze individual symptoms in order to provide a tailor-made approach for improving quality of life and reducing symptoms. Study data show that 73 percent of users experience a clinically relevant improvement of symptoms. At the same time, concomitant symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, can be reduced and quality of life increased.
Cara Care for IBS is already certified in Europe as a Class 1 CE-marked medical device for the treatment of irritable bowel, and was included in the Healthline’s Best Digestive Health Apps in 2020. The company headquarters of HiDoc GmbH is in Berlin, and the company currently employs 28 people.
Cara Care for IBS is available in the Google Play Store for Android and Apple App Store for iOS. The homepage provides more information on the prescription process and a suitability test for prescribability.
Contact: Jesaja Brinkmann
Co-founder and CEO
HiDoc Technologies GmbH