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Announcing our partnership with CVS Health: a giant leap for digital therapeutics

Peter Hames 06.11.2019
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Our purpose at Big Health is to help millions back to good mental health, using “digital therapeutics” - fully automated behavioral programs based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Our solutions are backed by multiple peer-reviewed studies, and available as a reimbursed benefit to 12 million people. However the real challenge is how to integrate digital therapeutics into the mainstream of healthcare, so that access to these solutions is as straightforward and widespread as drugs.

 

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce our partnership with CVS Health, the largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) in the US serving over 90 million Americans. For many months our teams have been working together to build a new end-to-end pathway that offers the prospect of mainstream adoption of reimbursed digital therapeutics for the first time. The first element of this is low-friction coverage and reimbursement; any CVS PBM customer can now easily add Sleepio to their existing PBM services. The second is seamless payment processing that integrates with those payers’ existing processes and systems. Facilitated by CVS’ new VBM platform, eligibility and payment processing for Sleepio enrollees is handled using the same infrastructure as any other product offered by CVS.

 

This alone makes adoption of evidence-based digital therapeutics such as Sleepio radically easier. But what’s also exciting is the prospect of being able to identify those in need within a population and directly offer them solutions such as Sleepio through novel channels. Given CVS Health’s unique mix of touchpoints with members - from retail stores to digital channels - this opens up an array of new innovative ways to get the right care to the right people at the right time.

 

Sleep health is the perfect starting point for pioneering this new pathway. In April the FDA announced new, stronger warning labels on sleep medications such as Ambien, based on overwhelming evidence of associated side effects and adverse events. While CBT is recommended as the first line treatment for insomnia in the American College of Physicians’ guidelines, chronic prescribing of sleeping pills is still widespread. Therefore, being able to provide an evidence-based digital solution like Sleepio that features CBT techniques offers the prospect of radically increased quality of care for millions. What’s more, multiple studies have demonstrated that a focus on improving sleep offers a novel way to improve wider mental health, whilst avoiding the attendant stigma.

 

The US healthcare system is at a pivotal moment of reinvention. With this partnership, CVS Health is taking a lead role in defining new standards of care in a digital-first world. We are proud to partner with them, and look forward to working together to continue to invent new ways to improve the health of millions.