Amerisource Bergen Launches Digital Therapeutics Platform That Links to EMR

The company is working with three digital healthcare companies during the pilot phase of the platform.

Many digital therapeutics companies are vying to get their products on doctors’ prescription pads. Now a few are also angling for a spot in the electronic medical record (EMR)).

AmerisourceBergen announced the launching of a digital therapeutics platform today that the company says will provide a secure connection between developers and physicians by way of the EMR.

During a pilot phase that is expected to last six months, just three companies will have products on platform: Cognoa, a Palo Alto, California, company that has developed Canvas Dx, a digital diagnostic platform that aids in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder; Mahana Therapeutics, a San Francisco company that has developed a digital therapeutic for people with irritable bowel syndrome; and Videra Health, a Orem, Utah, company that provides remote patient monitoring for people with behavioral health problems.

In an interview with Managed Healthcare Executive®, Alex S.Kilgore, Pharm.D., M.S., said that the during the pilot period, the three companies would not pay to be on the platform, which Amerisource Bergen is calling DTx Connect. But Kilgore said the long-term plan is charge developers to be included. Kilgore said the company is still nailing down the specifics of how the charges will be structured but fees based on the number of transactions is a possibility.

Cognoa and Mahana’s digital products are available only with a prescription. Videra’s product does not require a prescription. Kilgore said Amerisource Bergen was open to eventually including digital therapeutics that have not been FDA reviewed or registered on the platform. But in the pilot phase, he said, “we’re mostly prioritizing those that have been FDA reviewed, FDA registered.” He said that market research has shown that the number of health apps overwhelms providers. “We want to make sure that we’re able to support them in selecting those that have been FDA reviewed and FDA cleared,” Kilgore said.

Because of its size, AmerisourceBergen is hoping to “drive scale withing digital prescribing and digital utilization,” Kilgore said

Amerisource Bergen’s press release about the platform says that it is “powered” by a collaboration with Twistle, a patient engagement company in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to having a catalogue of digital therapeutics, the platform delivers welcome message and enables a variety of patient support services to simplify adoption and onboarding, the press release says.

“AmerisourceBergen has spent decades ensuring that patients have timely access to healthcare products,” Andy Molnar, CEO of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, a trade association for the digital therapeutics industry. “Their experience will bring a unique perspective to our community, particularly as they launch DTx Connect.”

Kilgore said there is “a lot of movement” when it comes to insurance coverage of digital therapeutics and that Amerisource Bergen is in a good position to support adoption of digital therapeutics. “We want to make sure that we’re able to implement an infrastructure to support their use.”