AmerisourceBergen launches tech to help docs dispense digital therapeutics to patients

Pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen is rolling out a new tech solution that enables clinicians to dispense apps and devices to patients in much the same way that they order prescription medications. 

AmerisourceBergen plans to launch DTx Connect, a fully integrated ordering, dispensing and fulfillment platform that aims to facilitate patient access to physician-ordered digital therapeutics and diagnostics.

The company is launching the new tech as the pipeline of digital therapeutics continues to expand.

The platform, which seamlessly integrates with electronic medical record (EMR) systems, enables physicians to easily access and order prescription and non-prescription DTx through their e-prescribing workflow and subsequently monitor patient fulfillment, according to the company.
A rapidly growing category within digital health, DTx delivers clinical interventions directly to patients via software to treat, manage or prevent a broad spectrum of diseases and disorders, including behavioral health conditions and diabetes. The products, which occasionally require a prescription, can be used as standalone therapies or in combination with other treatments or devices. The digital therapeutics market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 25% from 2022 to 2030 in the United States.  
Digital health company Cognoa plans to pilot the program, along with Mahana Therapeutics, a developer of prescription digital therapeutics for chronic health conditions and Videra Health, an AI-assisted video assessment and remote patient monitoring platform. Cognoa is a pediatric behavioral health company developing digital diagnostic and therapeutic products.


“While digital therapeutics and diagnostics offer tremendous potential, addressing challenges across the provider workstream and patient journey remain critical to unlocking the value these products have to offer,” said Jason Dinger, senior vice president of strategy and innovation at AmerisourceBergen in a press release.

“Given our role in the supply chain and our portfolio of commercialization services, we are uniquely positioned to build a solution that aims to address unmet needs and helps patients start and stay on physician-ordered products," Dinger said. 
DTx Connect, which is EMR- and brand-agnostic, provides a digital connection between developers and physicians via the EMR. The platform is powered through a collaboration with patient engagement technology company Twistle. 

Through the technology, physicians can search for digital therapeutics and diagnostic tools via a digital catalog and then order the products within their e-prescribing workflow, according to AmerisourceBergen executives.

After a physician orders a product, patients receive an electronic link which enables them to download the prescription or non-prescription product and access educational materials. Patient services—delivered via text, a digital companion app and phone calls with clinical teams—aim to simplify the adoption and onboarding process, keep patients engaged throughout the treatment journey and monitor and manage adherence.

The platform also provides physicians with patient status alerts, including notifications for patient fulfillment. 
The company also has been ramping up its investments in emerging healthcare and health tech startups. In April, the wholesale giant announced it would invest $150 million in a corporate venture fund focused on healthcare startups.

The new VC fund, called AB Health Ventures, will initially look to invest in early to midstage health-related startups both in the U.S. and abroad. The fund will prioritize investments in startups focused on innovation in pharmacy and distribution, clinical development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals, practice solutions for healthcare providers and animal health.