Every fifth man between the ages of 30 and 80 suffers from erectile dysfunction. Instead of drugs, an app could help: it is the first “digital health application” (DiGA) in urology and can be prescribed as a certified medical product. Contrary to the costs of “potency pills”, which men usually pay for themselves, the costs of the app are covered by the health insurance companies.
In a large-scale study, researchers from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) in Münster are investigating whether “digital Viagra” will bring the hoped-for success. To this end, individuals over the age of 18 with erectile dysfunction are sought. “The study is designed to the best standards of evidence-based medicine,” explains Prof. Sabine Kliesch. She leads the survey at the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Andrology (CeRA). A total of around 200 men with a medically confirmed diagnosis of “erectile dysfunction” will take part in the study. Subjects are randomly assigned to two groups who complete the app formation at different times. The first group begins twelve weeks of therapy immediately, the second after a waiting period.
Exercise begins with the risk factors of the disease: Those who smoke, move little, and eat unhealthily increase the risk of developing or worsening erectile dysfunction. Risk factors should be reduced with resistance training, pelvic floor exercises, and mental strategies for body awareness and awareness. Exercises are suitable for men’s health: Those with high blood pressure or who are overweight should start with a relaxed run rather than intensive resistance training. Additionally, app users are provided with brief background information on the development and treatment of their disease. The possible “side effect” of the app: a healthier long-term lifestyle.
Whether the concept works and whether the quality of life and erectile dysfunction symptoms improve through the use of the app is recorded in the study by WWU Münster via questionnaires. If you want to participate, you must be motivated to use the app for twelve weeks and to perform the described exercises regularly. Participants must also have access to a tablet or smartphone with internet access. Anyone over 18 can contact the app provider (phone: 089-38038658, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
“Each individual participant makes an important contribution to the search for new digital treatment methods and at the same time can do something for their own health,” says Prof. Kliesch, who works as head physician in the Department of Clinical and Operative Andrology of the University Hospital. in Munster. The pilot study for the prescription app was promising: participants’ erectile dysfunction decreased and quality of life improved during the app training program. For the study that is starting, the data will be collected over a three-month period. The results will be published no later than one year after the end of the collection and may change the treatment of erectile dysfunction in the long term.