Akili jumps the counter

Last week, Akili Interactive, maker of EndeavorRx (a prescription digital therapeutic, or PDT, for pediatric ADHD), announced that it is moving away from pursuing the prescription path and will instead sell its products over-the-counter to consumers. The decision follows the company’s June release of an adult version of its PDT, EndeavorOTC, made available direct-to-consumer via a subscription model. Based on EndeavorOTC’s positive in-market trajectory, Akili has decided to pursue regulatory approval for over-the-counter labeling of EndeavorRx.

Akili’s announcement comes at a difficult time for the prescription digital therapeutics space. Just a few months ago, Pear Therapeutics—another early PDT mover—declared bankruptcy and sold off its assets. Some of the challenges that limited Pear are referenced by Akili as motivation for their business pivot; in particular, both companies emphasized the challenges of working with payer organizations to receive reimbursement for PDTs.

Akili’s pivot to consumer-first sales may mark the beginning of a new chapter for the digital therapeutics sector, with reduced focus on payer buy-in and physician prescribing in favor of increased consumer access and marketing. But questions remain about consumer acquisition costs, long-term retention, and competition from other health apps and digital consumer solutions.

Rock Health Summit is next Wednesday, September 27! For a preview of what to expect, check out the second installment of the Rock Health Summit virtual series. Hear from Colby Takeda (Pear Suite), Jabraan Pasha (Juno Medical), Kameron Matthews (Cityblock Health), and Sahee Abdelmomin (Tulsa Innovation Labs) as they dive into the urgency for investing in the community healthcare worker. Virtual tickets are still available—register here!


The Climb To Unicorn Status: Experience Innovation As The Key To Digital Health Adoption
Five design principles for building solutions that prioritize experience RockHealth.org

Walmart To Explore Buying Majority Stake In ChenMed
+ Another push by big retail with Walgreens and Pearl Health partnership Bloomberg

Intermountain, UPMC Switching From Oracle Health's Cerner EHR To Epic
EHR giants battle for market share Fierce Healthcare

How Current And Potential Mental Health Patients Face Similar Issues To Receiving Care
Cost and coverage issues are ubiquitous Morning Consult

Recent Funding

  • Medication adherence and behavior-based pricing solution Sempre Health nabs $20M
  • Summus reels in $19.5M for its virtual specialty care services marketplace
  • Bold secures $17M for its exercise programs for older adults
  • Carenostics seeds $5M for its AI-based clinical decision support tool for chronic disease
  • Sleep apnea-focused virtual care navigation and coordination startup Gem Health snags $5M
  • Glass Health lands $5M for its AI-powered tool to generate care plans and differential diagnoses
  • Co:Helm collects $3.2M to build a generative AI solution for prior authorizations and admin tasks