Digital therapeutics company SidekickHealth inks partnership with Bayer

Nordic company SidekickHealth announced that it has entered a strategic partnership with Bayer to provide a digital medication management and lifestyle change platform to patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that is estimated to affect more than 236 million people globally.

Sidekick, founded by two doctors, develops gamified digital therapeutic products and programs, working with pharmaceutical industry and health care industry partners. In addition to peripheral artery disease, the company wants to improve chronic disease management for Type 2 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, and other chronic conditions. Meanwhile, the Bayer deal will allow Sidekick to launch the PAD program in Sweden.

The announcement comes at a turbulent time for collaborations between digital health and pharmaceutical companies, with three pharmaceutical companies’ decisions to release themselves from partnerships with digital health companies, but many see this wave of breakups as a learning opportunity rather than a forecast of doom.

“[Digital health and pharma are] doing partnerships that haven’t existed before and we’re trying new ways of development and deployment,” Propeller Health Chief Commercial Officer Chris Hogg told Mobi Health News last week. “It’s kind of inevitable that certain things won’t work, and certain things will work. So, it’s not really surprising to me that maybe some of these partnerships haven’t worked out in the way people thought they would.”

Hogg added, “If they all worked out perfectly, this market would be a lot easier and there would be more companies in it.”

Sidekick Co-founder and Chief Executive Tryggvi Thorgeirsson said of the partnership with Bayer, “Lifestyle change is at the heart of what we do, and our programs can have a multiplier effect on the positive outcomes of medical care and the world’s best medicines. We are excited to be working with Bayer to help patients take that first step and beyond.”

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