It’s time for your monthly digital health news dose. We have looked back at three of the most noteworthy pieces of news from the last month and distilled what they mean for the industry and the key takeaways you should have on your radar.
Prime and Pear Make Access to PDTs Mainstream
Snapshot of the Story: Prime Therapeutics, a leader in total drug management solutions, and Pear Therapeutics, the digital health company behind reSET® and reSET-O®, recently announced their comprehensive value-based agreement for prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs). This first of its kind agreement will feature outcome measures for “Hospital Inpatient Stay,” “Total Healthcare Cost” and “Physician Product Engagement.” Get the full story here.
Why it’s Notable:
- Substance and opioid use disorders have been on the rise in the US and beyond, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating the increase in substance use. A recent report from the U.S. CDC noted a 30% rise in overdose deaths in the US in 2020.
- reSET® and reSET-O® are PDTs designed to aid in the treatment of substance and opioid use disorders. These PDTs offer digital CBT in combination with traditional therapy. The digital solutions available on a patient's mobile device, are FDA approved and offer 12-week 24/7 programs to help increase engagement with patients along their recovery journey.
- A clinical dashboard is also available to providers which displays the patients’ use of the solution and can help inform future treatment and adjustments to current therapies.
- Pear has made a lot of waves in the digital health space positioning itself as one of the first digital therapeutics platforms. In April of 2021, Pear expanded its platform to include digital biomarkers, machine learning algorithms, and sensor-based technologies.
- The company has established itself as a trailblazer in the digital health space and with this agreement reSET® and reSET-O® will be available to the 16 million + commercial members of Blue Cross Blue Shield.
- This is a trend we are likely to see followed by other digital therapeutics companies looking to expand access to their technologies.
Expert: Yuri Maricich (CMO and Head of Development, Pear Therapeutics) is a licensed, board-certified physician scientist, investor, clinical/therapeutics developer and strategist. Connect with Yuri to learn more about his work in PDT development as well as his experience with regulatory, quality control, and medical affairs organization and management. Connect with Yuri now.
AstraZeneca and Oncoshot partner to address #1 barrier to clinical trial recruitment
Snapshot of the Story: By establishing a partnership with Oncoshot, AstraZeneca aims to streamline their clinical trials in Singapore. They will use Oncoshot’s near real-time insights to initiate trials that are most relevant to the cancer population, helping them increase the likelihood of meeting enrollment deadlines and recruitment goals for new trials. Get the full story here.
Why it’s Notable:
- According to CTTI survey results, identifying patients who meet eligibility criteria is the primary barrier to meeting recruitment goals. This inefficiency has been a challenge in Singapore as well, a leading cancer research hub within the Asia Pacific. The partnership between AstraZeneca and Oncoshot plays into Singapore’s National AI strategy that aims to improve health outcomes and create economic opportunities.
- The partnership also aligns with AstraZeneca’s goal of using AI, big data and genomics to help people with diabetes, heart disease and cancer in emerging markets. Since 2018 they’ve launched health innovation hubs in markets around the world including Russia, Brazil, Argentina, India, China, GCC Countries and Singapore.
- Oncoshot’s AI-enabled patient-to-trial matching technology, InSite Feasibility follows a trend in Electronic phenotyping and the use of AI to mine EHR databases and select patients with a disease biomarker. The regularly updated data helps identify newly diagnosed cancer patients within the country.
- Difficulty meeting recruitment goals is a common challenge for clinical trial sponsors and investigators. 80% of trials don’t meet enrollment deadlines, 37% of research sites fail to meet enrollment targets, and 10% of research sites don’t recruit a single patient. Digital tools can be utilized to overcome barriers to patient recruitment, and ultimately improve the speed and efficiency of clinical trials.
- Trials that use biomarkers to select patients with a high probability of responding are 3X more likely to progress from Ph1 to approval. AI is well-suited to the process of identifying patients with the appropriate biomarkers for a given clinical trial.
- Digital tools have also been used to raise awareness of clinical trials among the target population. Patient Advocacy groups like PatientsLikeMe and MyHealthTeams offer a way for sponsors to connect with patients and recruit for clinical trials.
Expert: Francesca Wuttke (CDO, Almirall) is an expert in clinical trial optimization and digital therapeutics with over 20 years of experience. She contributed to the HealthXL Clinical Trials Optimization with Digital Health report. Connect with Francesca to learn more about RCT for DTx and how to distill scientific and clinical data into commercial value. Connect with Francesca now.
Google Dismantles Health Division
Snapshot of the Story: Recent news in Big Tech was the dismantling of Google’s Health Division. Restarted as a new division in only 2018, Google’s health efforts are being spread throughout the company. Get the full story here.
Why it’s Notable:
- Google Health attempted to disrupt the extremely complex healthcare system by offering new technologies and AI solutions to improve the digitization of healthcare. In addition to projects in EHR navigation, study recruitment, and AI dermatology, Google also recently finalized their acquisition of FitBit for roughly $2.1 billion in 2021.
- The dismantling of Google’s Health Division and reorganization of their health efforts throughout the company could mean there will be an emphasis on health throughout the whole company or that the health segments will quietly fade off and close out following the reorganization.
- Apple also recently announced it will be “scaling back” their app project, Health Habit. The app available to Apple employees was designed to track fitness goals, manage blood pressure, and communicate with primary care clinicians. However, the app struggled with engagement and enrollment. It is unclear what the impact of the scale back will be on Apple’s health efforts.
- This trend of retreat begs the question of how successful Big Tech can be in the healthcare space. With both Apple and Google either scaling back or shutting down major components of their health offerings, we’ll have to see if they will continue to invest in healthcare or abandon the already crowded and complex space.
- Amazon is another big giant to keep an eye on. In March of 2021 they promised virtual care in all 50 states. At our recent HealthXL event in NYC, Glen Tullman predicts Amazon and Walmart will be the ones to watch in the delivery of healthcare because “they understand customers”. Check out the full video here.