Digital health companies varies widely

Digital health companies varies widely, software itself becomes prescription for diseases. A new software app could track glucose levels for people with diabetes or soothe the brains of insomniacs.


Software itself becomes prescription for diseases ranging from depression to heart disease. And drug companies are not getting great attention. In the past couple years, many have investments in digital startups, inspiring software based therapies.

It delivers treatment to patients through smartphone apps and sensors. They are designed to stimulate changes in behavior and in some cases brain function to help patients control a variety of illnesses and chronic conditions.

Pear’s reSET program became the first digital product to receive FDA approval for the treatment of a specific disease. And last month the company inked a partnership with Novartis to develop prescription software to treat mental health problems.

Omada Health, a maker of software to treat pre-diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, costs between $550 and $650. The partnership with Pear is part of a broader digital transformation at Novartis.

McCann, Pear’s chief executive, said running scientific trials and gaining Food Drug Administration approval is a critical part of the company’s business plan. Pear’s current product pipeline includes digital treatments for cancer, Parkinson’s disease, depression and schizophrenia, among others.

Pear becomes direct competitor to traditional pharmaceutical companies, as well as an attractive partner. Its deal with Novartis is designed to further develop its schizophrenia treatment and bring it into clinical use.

The product, known as THRIVE, currently consists of a smartphone app to help patients identify and prevent false impression. Novartis may contribute by developing complementary drug therapies for schizophrenia patients.