AstraZeneca taps Vida to launch coaching app for heart attack patients

By Aditi Pai
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VidaAstraZeneca has partnered with mobile-enabled health coaching services company Vida to launch an app, called Day-by-Day, that helps patients who are recovering from a heart attack, according to Fortune.

The app is not only designed to speed up the patient's recovery, but it also helps patients deal with trauma that they may feel after experiencing a heart attack. The app is currently part of a trial program at Duke University.

Vida, which raised $5 million in October 2014, currently offers health and wellness coaching services, which cost $15 a week, directly to consumers through an app. Vida connects its users to nutritionists, physicians, diabetes educators, and nurses. The app originally launched with eight programs: lose weight, get fit, detox, feel better, reduce stress, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and prevent diabetes.

Day-by-Day will similarly offer coaches, but these coaches will take users through a recovery process for their heart attack, which includes a medication regimen. The app will also include educational content, like videos, articles, and food journals, to help them stay adherent. 

Day-by-Day is not branded and will be available for any user, even if they are taking another company's drugs. AstraZeneca will be taking on the costs of the program for users, but the company told Fortune it will use data collected from the app to learn how patients are using their medications during the recovery stage. Vida told TechCrunch that AstraZeneca approached it to partner on the app.

Interestingly, Novartis only days ago said that its new heart failure drug, Entresto, might be among the first to be sold with remote monitoring tools as an add-on service, to help convince insurers to spring for the more costly drug. The monitoring tools could even allow insurers to get a partial refund if the drug doesn’t effect outcomes, essentially setting up a pay-for-performance arrangement for Novartis.

This partnership marks the second time in recent months that AstraZeneca has launched a partnership with a consumer-facing digital health company around patient generated data. In April, AstraZeneca announced a five-year research collaboration deal with Boston-based patient network PatientsLikeMe. The PatientsLikeMe-AstraZeneca deal, similar to one PatientsLikeme struck with Genentech last Spring, gives AstraZeneca full access to PatientsLikeMe’s global network. The pharma company will use the data to shape future medicine development and work to improve outcomes in different therapeutic areas, with an initial focus on respiratory disease, lupus, diabetes and oncology.

“Understanding what patients are experiencing every day and how they define the value of their treatments are fundamental to our ability to push the boundaries of science in developing the next-generation of medicines,” Briggs Morrison, EVP Global Medicines Development at AstraZeneca said in a statement at the time. “Our partnership with PatientsLikeMe will help us to harness the important perspectives of patients through their advanced technology and real-world, real-time evidence to support our research and development programs.”

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