This morning CVS Health announced that it is adding a handful of digital health apps to its Point Solution Management service, including Big Health’s Daylight, Vida Weight Loss +, Weight Watchers, Kurbo and Naturally Slim.
Weight loss and a healthy lifestyle appear to be at the center of the news, as all but mental health app Daylight have a focus on making healthy eating choices. However, the products go about that goal in a slightly different way.
Vida offers one-on-one coaching; Weight Watchers gives users trackers and recipes to support weight loss; Naturally Slim gives users’ educational tools; and Kurbo focuses on helping kids make healthy lifestyle choices.
The idea of the Point Solution Management service, which was first announced in June 2019, is to help CVS Caremark pharmacy benefits management clients enroll in third-party health apps.
Big Health was the first vendor to participate in the new program, offering its sleep-focused product, Sleepio. Going forward both Sleepio and Daylight, which was designed to combat anxiety and stress through CBT, will be available.
In March CVS announced that it was adding other big names, including diabetes management company Livongo, musculoskeletal therapy company Hinge Health, caregiver-focused platform Torchlight and Whil, a mindfulness tool.
WHY IT MATTERS
Digital health companies have struggled to fit into the reimbursement paradigm for years. Offerings such as this are posed to be a new avenue for companies to make money off their digital tools.
“Although digital therapeutics are still a relatively new category, our collaboration with CVS can help to increase awareness and adoption of our products,” Dr. Jenna Carl, vice president of clinical development and medical affairs at Big Health, wrote in an email to MobiHealthNews. "That’s because streamlining billing and reimbursement via the pharmacy benefit management formulary reduces friction for health plans, self-insured employers and their employees. In other words, digital therapeutics claims can be processed just the way drugs are; it's that simple.”
THE LARGER TREND
The companies included in the announcement have been active in the digital health space for some time. In fact, Kurbo actually became part of Weight Watchers following an acquisition last August.
Meanwhile other companies are continuing to raise capital.
In June, Big Health raised $39 million in Series B funding to support new product development and grow its distribution and commercialization efforts.
ON THE RECORD
“Digital point solutions can help people manage important wellness areas like mental well-being, fitness and weight loss from the safety and convenience of their own homes,” Dr. Sree Chaguturu, chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. “Employers and other plan sponsors increasingly are looking for better ways to include these kinds of tools in their benefits packages – especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”