NOV 22, 2021 9:30 AM PST

Happify Health Pursues Prescription Digital Therapeutic for Migraine Headaches

WRITTEN BY: Ryan Vingum

Digital therapeutics are on the rise and here to stay. Many digital therapeutics are designed for the treatment of mental health conditions, primarily anxiety and depression disorders, and incorporate evidence-based practices such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Over the past decade, there have been roughly 500 clinical trials examining digital therapeutics, with about 180 involving actual interventions. 

Following results of a pilot study following about 5,000 participants who used the Happify Health app, the company has announced plans to pursue a prescription digital therapeutic (PDT) indicated for the treatment of migraine headaches. 

Migraines are a neurological condition that can have debilitating effects. It’s estimated that up to 12% of Americans (almost a sixth) suffer from some kind of migraine, with women being three times as likely to suffer from them than men. Migraines can’t be cured, only managed, which is why pharmaceuticals have emerged as the primary treatment. These include “abortive” and preventative medications, which are designed to treat a migraine when it happens or prevent one from happening, respectively. However, these medications can have side effects. Happify Health is taking a different approach. The Happify app is a series of games and activities (grounded in CBT) designed to help reduce stress and improve users mood. 

The study followed people who used the app regularly while completing happiness and migraine assessments. According to the whitepaper published on the pilot study, the goal was to focus on the underlying psychological symptoms that could be causing frequent migraine headaches. Findings suggested that not only was the Happify Health app able to help reduce stress of users, but this reduction in stress was linked to a significant decrease in frequency of migraines. About 17% of participants reported a reduction in migraine frequency. Additionally, about 12% reported that migraine pain was improved.  

Happify notes that their goal is to prepare a PDT product to start randomized controlled trials in 2022.

Sources: Businesswire; Happify Health; Cleveland Clinic

About the Author
  • Science writer and editor, with a focus on simplifying complex information about health, medicine, technology, and clinical drug development for a general audience.
You May Also Like
NOV 22, 2021
Health & Medicine
Can Nanotechnology Prevent Corneal Graft Rejection?
NOV 22, 2021
Can Nanotechnology Prevent Corneal Graft Rejection?
The cornea is among the essential anatomic features of the eye, responsible for most of the eye’s focusing ability ...
NOV 24, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
The First Iodine-Propulsion System Successfully Tested in Space
NOV 24, 2021
The First Iodine-Propulsion System Successfully Tested in Space
Scientists have successfully tested the first rocket in space propelled by an unconventional element: iodine. To fire a ...
DEC 02, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Digital Oculus Sees Diseased Cells Like Never Before
DEC 02, 2021
Digital Oculus Sees Diseased Cells Like Never Before
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it may be worth a lot more with advanced image analysis technologies. A tea ...
DEC 08, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Expanding the Gene-Editing Toolbox
DEC 08, 2021
Expanding the Gene-Editing Toolbox
The CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology sparked a veritable revolution in the biomedical sciences, taking genetic engine ...
DEC 30, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: No More Trial and Error?
DEC 30, 2021
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: No More Trial and Error?
  Treating rheumatoid arthritis can be like throwing darts—doctors don’t always hit the bullseye. Trial ...
JAN 04, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Smart Stitches Track Surgical Wound Healing
JAN 04, 2022
Smart Stitches Track Surgical Wound Healing
  As early as 3000 BC, ancient Egyptians described the use of sutures for drawing open wounds shut to facilitate he ...
Loading Comments...