1. Sponsorship / Licensing a Solution
A pharma company sponsors or licenses an existing solution, e.g. imagine an existing app to support chronic pain patients. A pharma company could make this available to patients being treated with their drug to offer additional support.
Real-world example: Sanofi ran a pilot to offer access to an online gastrointestinal symptom checker from Babylon, and sponsored 400 free video consultations on the platform.
- Usually a relatively fast and relatively low-cost entry into the DTx space.
- It can work as a flexible short-term solution.
- Limited or zero configuration options means it is unlikely to precisely meet a brand’s needs.
- It still needs due diligence and internal approval to ensure the solution is compliant.
- Even if the length of commitment is short, the patients may find the app valuable and resent it being removed.
2. Partnering with a DTx Company
This is by far the most popular option currently, where the clinical expertise of a pharma company intersects with the technical expertise of a DTx company.
- Combines the complementary expertise of pharma and tech partners.
- Usually faster as the technical platform and processes to support the DTx are often readily available; also may include product approvals and an existing user base.
- Often scope for pharma to configure the solution to suit their needs.
- Shared culture, vision, and goals essential for partners to enjoy a successful relationship.
- Many platforms are fully customizable to pharma’s needs, but prior to partnering it should be confirmed there are no restrictions to tailoring the solution.
- There is a need to ensure a cohesive go-to-market strategy. Pharma’s sales channels have been fine-tuned to sell drugs, but not necessarily digital products.