Science behind Bold Health

What are Digital Therapeutics (DTx)?

The short answer: using a smartphone as medicine.

The long answer: DTx is software that can improve a person's health through therapy, education and instructive content.

It has the potential to lead to natural and sustained behavioural changes, mimicking the health outcomes of a typical course of therapy sessions. [1]

The concept of delivering therapy digitally has been given the stamp of approval from governing bodies such as the FDA and NHS and its efficacy backed by many studies, some finding it be up to 80% effective. [2] [3] [4] [5]

As these solutions become increasingly integrated in care pathways, the global digital therapeutics market is estimated at $1.8 billion today, but predicted to reach $7.1 billion by 2025.

Why digital therapy for gastroenterology conditions?

Painful digestive episodes are often triggered by stress and anxiety.

You’ve likely experienced stress-induced “butterflies” in your belly or ‘wrenching’ in your gut. In patients with digestive issues, these feelings are magnified and accompanied with a multitude of other painful symptoms.

Often, patients go on to become increasingly stressed or anxious about these symptoms, which causes more symptoms. This is described in behavioural psychology as a ‘vicious cycle’.

With cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), these negative emotions can be targeted and this cycle can be broken.

CBT builds a set of skills that helps patients

But CBT isn't just about managing stress and anxiety. It’s designed to help people reframe their coping strategies and reduce the power their condition has in driving their daily routines


Become aware of thoughts and emotions


Identify how situations, thoughts, and behaviours influence emotions


Improve feelings by changing dysfunctional thoughts and behaviours

We aim to make therapy feel like a conversation that’s not just fun and engaging but captivating to the point where people forget they’re in a session.

Pie Chart

The mind-gut connection forms the basis of Bold Health DTx

Often gut problems are blamed on dietary choices. But studies have shown that mental well being is equally, if not more, responsible.

Nervous System

The connection between the brain (central nervous system) and the gut (enteric nervous system) is incredibly intertwined and complex.

And evidence shows it can worsen digestion, depending on how we actively engage with it.


The bacteria in the gut is known as the microbiome.

The microbiome can influence neural development, brain chemistry and a wide range of behavioral phenomena, including emotional behavior, pain perception and stress response (6).


Scientists have found that serotonin (the ‘happy’ hormone, also called 5-HT) plays a big part in this connection (7).This hormone is vital in regulating mood, sleep and healing.

Unfortunately, a reduction in serotonin results in fatigue, mood disorders & digestive problems.

Bold Health studies

Bold Health is currently testing Zemedy to ensure efficacy and ease of use at renowned institutions in the United States and Europe.

Acceptability and Efficacy of Zemedy App for IBS

Principal Investigator:

Melissa Hunt, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania

425 S. University Ave.

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6018

Office: 215-898-6478

24 Hour Emergency: 610-529-8055


Acceptability and Efficacy of Zemedy App for IBS

Principal Investigator:

Professor Claudia Witt

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Charitépl. 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany


  1. Digital Therapeutics: An Integral Component of Digital Innovation in Drug Development

    Oleksandr Sverdlov, Joris van Dam et al.

    Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2018)

  2. Could digital therapeutics be a game changer in psychiatry?

    Chul Hyun Cho, Heon Jeong Lee

    Psychiatry Investigation (2019)

  3. Irritable bowel syndrome treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy versus medical treatment

    Majid Mahvi-Shirazi, Ali Fathi-Ashtiani et al.

    Archives of Medical Science (2012)

  4. Brief cognitive-behavioral internet therapy for irritable bowel syndrome

    Melissa G. Hunt, Samantha Moshier et al.

    Behaviour Research and Therapy (2009)

  5. Improvement in Gastrointestinal Symptoms After Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    Jeffrey M Lackner, James Jaccard et al.

    Gastroenterology (2018)

  6. That gut feeling

    Siri Carpenter

    American Psychological Association (2012)

  7. Effects of Serotonin and Slow-Release 5-Hydroxytryptophan on Gastrointestinal Motility in a Mouse Model of Depression

    Narek Israelyan, Andrew Del Colle et al.

    Gastroenterology (2019)