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Journal ArticleDOI

Applications of technology in the assessment and treatment of cannabis use disorder

TL;DR: Technology will be a necessary medium to meet societal health needs as a consequence of an ever-changing cannabis regulatory landscape and should focus on improving existing platforms while ethically incorporating other functions to optimize a public and clinical health approach to CUD.
Abstract: Cannabis use and Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) have been increasing. There are no FDA approved medications and evidence-based psychotherapy is limited by insufficient providers, serving very few patients effectively. The lack of resources for prevention and treatment of CUD has resulted in a significant gap between the need for services and access to treatment. The creation of a scalable system to prevent, screen, refer and provide treatment for a chronic, relapsing diagnosis like CUD could be achieved through the application of technology. Many studies have utilized ecological momentary assessments (EMA) in treatment seeking and non-treatment seeking cannabis users. EMA allows for repeated, intensive, longitudinal data collection in vivo. EMA has been studied in cannabis use and its association with affect, craving, withdrawal, other substances, impulsivity, and interpersonal behaviors. EMA has the potential to serve as a valuable monitoring tool in prevention, screening, and treatment for CUD. Research has also focused on the development of internet and application-based treatments for CUD, including a currently available prescription digital therapeutic. Treatment options have expanded to more broadly incorporate telehealth as an option for CUD treatment with broad acceptance and change in regulation following the COVID-19 pandemic. While technology has limitations, including cost, privacy concerns, and issues with engagement, it will be a necessary medium to meet societal health needs as a consequence of an ever-changing cannabis regulatory landscape. Future work should focus on improving existing platforms while ethically incorporating other functions (e.g., sensors) to optimize a public and clinical health approach to CUD.

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TL;DR: In this paper , the authors highlight the role that the application of clinical pharmacology principles could play in the development of digital therapeutics and advocate for a development approach that merges such principles from development of traditional therapeutics with important considerations from the highly attractive and fast-paced world of digital solutions.
Abstract: The promise of transforming digital technologies into treatments is what drives the development of digital therapeutics (DTx), generally known as software applications embedded within accessible technologies - such as smartphones - to treat, manage or prevent a pathological condition. While DTx solutions that successfully demonstrate effectiveness and safety could drastically improve the life of patients in multiple therapeutic areas, there is a general consensus that generating therapeutic evidence for DTx presents challenges and open questions. We believe there are three main areas where the application of clinical pharmacology principles from the drug development field could benefit DTx development: the characterization of the mechanism of action, the optimization of the intervention, and finally, its dosing. We reviewed DTx studies to explore how the field is approaching these topics and to better characterize the challenges associated with them. This leads us to emphasize the role that the application of clinical pharmacology principles could play in the development of DTx and to advocate for a development approach that merges such principles from development of traditional therapeutics with important considerations from the highly attractive and fast-paced world of digital solutions.
References
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TL;DR: Ecological momentary assessment holds unique promise to advance the science and practice of clinical psychology by shedding light on the dynamics of behavior in real-world settings.
Abstract: Assessment in clinical psychology typically relies on global retrospective self-reports collected at research or clinic visits, which are limited by recall bias and are not well suited to address how behavior changes over time and across contexts. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) involves repeated sampling of subjects’ current behaviors and experiences in real time, in subjects’ natural environments. EMA aims to minimize recall bias, maximize ecological validity, and allow study of microprocesses that influence behavior in real-world contexts. EMA studies assess particular events in subjects’ lives or assess subjects at periodic intervals, often by random time sampling, using technologies ranging from written diaries and telephones to electronic diaries and physiological sensors. We discuss the rationale for EMA, EMA designs, methodological and practical issues, and comparisons of EMA and recall data. EMA holds unique promise to advance the science and practice of clinical psychology by shedding ligh...

4,286 citations

Trending Questions (1)
What are the current evidence-based practices for the treatment of cannabis use disorder in the United States?

Current evidence-based practices for treating cannabis use disorder in the United States include utilizing technology like ecological momentary assessments (EMA), internet-based treatments, and telehealth options to improve access and outcomes.