Novartis is teaming up with smartpatient to launch a new app feature on the MyTherapy app for patients with wet macular degeneration (AMD) that is focused on educating patients and caregivers about treatment and management.
Called "See What’s Next," the section was specifically designed to help provide patients and their families with resources about navigating life with the disease and giving them information about medications and adherence.
Patients are able to tap into a personalized app that will show patients to the tools most applicable to their needs. The feature is set to launch in Italy and Spain first, and will be free. Ophthalmologists can provide patients with access to the system.
WHY IT MATTERS
Age-related wet macular degeneration is a chronic condition which causes blurry vision or a blind spot in the patient’s visual field, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most of the time it is caused by abnormal blood vessels leaking fluid or blood into the macula, the clinic reports.
According to the CDC, there are 1.8 million Americans over 40 with AMD, however, the bulk of those cases are dry AMD.
Novartis and smartpatient are pitching this tool as a way to help patients to better manage their condition and medications.
“Non-adherence is a challenge in most health conditions, but in few are consequences as direct and severe as in wet AMD,” Sebastian Gaede, CEO of smartpatient, said in a statement. “I was truly impressed seeing Novartis and us working as one team, with every single team member highly motivated by our shared goal of supporting patients in avoiding complications and reducing the risk of vision loss.”
THE LARGER TREND
Big pharma companies like Novartis are increasingly turning towards the digital health space to support adherence measures, drug discovery and digital therapeutics. In July, Novartis teamed up with Propeller Health, a ResMed subsidiary, to copackage the latter’s digital health platform with the pharma giant’s new asthma medication, Enerzair Breezhaler.
Novartis has also dipped into digital therapeutics. Perhaps most notable was its relationship with Pear Therapeutics. Novartis’ Sandoz was working with the startup to commercialize its FDA-cleared addiction-focused products reSET and reSET-O. Last fall, the pharma giant announced that it was handing sole responsibility of the commercialization back to Pear.