Enter ‘digital therapeutics’, the idea that software, namely apps, can be used to encourage behaviour change. This is important because, in the twenty-first century, your own behaviour is the greatest threat to your health and there is no pill to help you change your behaviour. Cigarette smoking is perhaps the best example of an avoidable behaviour that most people actually want to change.
In fact, over 70% of the one billion smokers around the world want to quit smoking. Yet the long-term success rate is awfully low, at just 3%, because most people don’t have access to high quality therapy, designed to change how they think about smoking.
We’ve all heard the classic proverb, “necessity is the mother of invention”. The only way we’ll overcome the greatest challenges of our age, whether it’s climate change, curing cancer or creating equal access to healthcare, is to invent our way out of it.
Or to put it another way, the surefire way to disaster is that we keep doing more of what we’re supposed to do.