Digital therapeutics company Pear Therapeutics is looking to integrate digital biomarkers, machine learning algorithms and sensor-based technologies into its platform thanks to new licensing deals and partnerships.
The Boston-based DTx company has inked collaboration deals with Empatica and etectRx, as well as licensing tech from KeyWise.
Specifically, Pear's collaboration with Empatica will focus on the use of medical-grade wearables and digital biomarkers. The company is looking to use wearables to evaluate a patient's withdrawal symptoms from opioids, alcohol and other substances.
The etectRx partnership will focus on medication adherence. Pear will now be able to integrate etectRx's digital pill, which can show if a patient ingested the medication. This partnership isn't a surprise. In January, the two companies announced a deal to potentially develop a product that combines the former's DTx with a digital pill offering. At the time, the companies' plan was to meet quarterly to discuss that potential.
Pear has also licensed KeyWise's artificial intelligence technology, which can detect changes in mental health via smartphone keyboard interactions. According to Pear, the technology will be used to develop biomarkers for depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance use disorder, opioid use disorder, insomnia and pain.
WHY IT MATTERS
While an increasing number of digital therapeutics are emerging onto the market, the technology is still in its infancy. Pear had the first DTx to go on the market and has been a trendsetter in the industry. These new expansions signal that the company is interested in expanding to new forms of virtual care.
“Accessing external technologies allows us to build PDTs with new capabilities and continue to broaden their scope and effectiveness," Dr. Corey McCann, president and CEO of Pear, said in a statement. "With the ability to collect and quantify information in real-world settings and to potentially personalize products in real-time, PDTs present the opportunity to truly revolutionize healthcare.”
THE LARGER TREND
These new deals build on Pear's past deals with other tech companies and researchers. In January of 2020, the company announced five deals with organizations specializing in everything from virtual reality therapies to voice biomarker technologies.
Pear landed its first FDA clearance for its substance abuse disorder treatment reset in 2018. Since then, the company has landed a number of clearances, including for its opioid abuse disorder treatment and for its insomnia treatment. It currently has a number of technologies in the pipeline, including several that address mental health issues.