More than 600 companies are developing digital biomarkers — how do you choose the right one?

HumanFirst is dropping the first of three infographics mapping the landscape of companies developing evidence-based digital health technologies (DHTs) across 13+ therapeutic areas

Two weeks ago, my colleague Christine Manta Campbell shared the story behind how our team at HumanFirst designed 25+ digital measure ontologies standardizing 11k+ measures captured by digital health technologies (DHTs). Today, we’re dropping the first of a three-part series where we highlight the 600+ technology developers who are crafting these digital biomarkers and measures.

With the launch of HumanFirst’s Measure Ontologies, we want to put some “faces to names” for the companies behind those 11k measures, along with the therapeutic areas where they are most represented. Our goal is to elevate companies driving digital measures forward with high-quality evidence.

With 2k+ technologies on the market, it can be overwhelming to narrow down the list, and the consequences of choosing a suboptimal tool can come at a high cost for both study participants and clinical sponsors.

Early, reliable intelligence is mission critical in the development of medical products on two fronts:

  • Accelerating promising drugs to the market is good for patients and also can be a $2–3M revenue opportunity per day (!) for sponsors
  • Discontinuing work on unpromising drugs sooner saves both money and time — the average loss on each drug that fails in clinical development is $435M

Not only is it vital for technologies to be analytically and clinically validated and feasible to use in your study population of interest; clinical sponsors must also ensure that the technology they select will be available and supported throughout the study duration. This search process can be daunting.

We’re on a mission to make that process easier.

One way our Atlas platform has helped academic researchers and 22 of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies deploy fit-for-purpose digital health technologies into their clinical trials is by focusing that search on technologies supported by high-quality evidence, which includes:

  • Peer-reviewed literature
  • Clinical trials
  • Regulatory decisions (including 510(k), De Novo, CE Mark)
  • Rigorous white papers
  • Conferences abstracts and posters

For today’s drop, we cut the data by high-level therapeutic areas represented in the Atlas platform to highlight research areas that are most robust, as well as those where digital endpoints are still relatively nascent. We ordered the logos by count of evidence from each company within each therapeutic area (TA) to prioritize organizations that are “showing their work” and publishing evidence in public forums.

Two weeks ago in Forbes, we publicly announced the launch of AtlasPRO for pharma and CRO partners, and AtlasEDU for academic researchers and investigators. Today, we’re excited to release a subset of this data (also available in open-access format via OpenAtlas) on the makes and models of digital health technologies at

If you’re interested in grouping your TAs differently than we’ve reported today (e.g., you need to split out neurology from psychiatry) or you’re looking to refine by a specific medical condition (e.g., DHTs in Alzheimer’s), fill out this 1 minute survey, and we’ll work with you to pull a custom query.

Deep Dive on Therapeutic Areas

Here are the organizations within each therapeutic area, and the medical conditions with the highest number of evidence:

In the neurology/psychiatry therapeutic area, some of the top-researched medical conditions include Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis and bipolar disorder.
In the cardiology therapeutic area, hypertension, stroke and atrial fibrillation are among the top conditions using digital health technologies.
Overweight/obesity and diabetes are among the highest medical conditions within endocrinology.
Dermatology is a growing area of use for digital health technology, where atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are currently among the top researched conditions.
Top gastroenterology conditions using DHTs include Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and liver diseases.
Hematology and oncology has growing research in medical conditions like breast cancer and hemophilia, among others.
Infectious disease research has focused most recently on Covid-19, HIV and chronic hepatitis C.
The most represented musculoskeletal/rheumatology conditions include osteoarthritis (knee and hip), rheumatoid arthritis and low back pain.
Nephrology top medical conditions are chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
Ophthalmology/ear, nose and throat is an emerging field with evidence in conditions like glaucoma, hearing loss and visual disturbances and blindness.
Pediatrics/neonatology top medical conditions include preterm birth, low birth weight and neonatal cerebral infarction.
Top medical conditions in pulmonology are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and pneumonia.
Pregnancy, gestational diabetes and gestational obesity are top-researched conditions in women’s health.

We’re on a mission to enable the seamless incorporation of digital health technologies & digital biomarkers into clinical research, resulting in better, differentiated treatments that improve health outcomes for all humans. Sound interesting? Reach out!

Check back next week when we drop our next landscape map: hardware vs. software technology developers.