Digital therapeutics have become increasingly popular in behavioral health as of late, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has worsened the mental health of Americans and discouraged the delivery of in-person health care.
New research from Pear Therapeutics — a digital therapeutics provider that’s raised $134 million to-date — helps validate that trend and highlight new digital therapeutics opportunities in the behavioral health space.
Specifically, the Boston-based company has found that its digital therapy for opioid use disorder (OUD) helps cut hospital visits and lower net health care costs. Pear Therapeutics recently published those findings in the peer-reviewed journal Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research.
The digital OUD solution shown to deliver those outcomes is called reSET-O. It’s the first digital therapy for OUD to earn approval from the FDA. ReSET-O gives users app-based tasks to complete, with each one designed to help patients manage and recover from their SUD. The solution is meant to be used in conjunction with medication-assisted treatment drugs, such buprenorphine.
For the study, Pear Therapeutics evaluated 351 patients who used reSET-O, tracking them over their first six months with the solution.
The company found that, during that period, reSET-O helped reduce clinical encounters, from inpatient and ICU stays to emergency department visits. Plus, it saved payers thousands of dollars. In fact, the solution helped to lower net health care costs by $2,150 per patient in six months, according to the study.
While reSET-O remains the only FDA-approved digital therapeutic solution for OUD, the promising findings suggest ample opportunity for similar solutions to flood the market.