For the first time, Surfing NASH takes a deep dive into the prospect of digital therapeutics, their ability to drive outcomes and the critical success factors for proper use and deployment. This is an increasingly apt topic which intermittently surfaces on the podcast but has never featured at the center of conversation. The Surfers are joined by Naim Alkhouri and two new guests with prominent focus in this space: Joe Rubinsztain, CEO and Co-Founder of ChronWell, and Mark Berman, CMO of Better Therapeutics.
In this conversation, Joe and Mark detail their backgrounds and respective roles at two leading digital therapeutics companies. Both Joe and Mark are physicians by training with unique interests which led them down fascinating paths. Joe discloses he is a “computer scientist at heart.” Mark shares that he has always had a passion for nutrition and behavior change.
Mark goes on to elaborate on his work today, underscoring a fundamental idea at the foundation of Better Therapeutics. Much of cardiometabolic diseases – including NAFLD – is rooted in behavior. While both primary care and specialty clinics absorb the consequences, neither is adequately equipped to facilitate society-wide behavioral change. Better Therapeutics exists to answer this dilemma by developing forms of what’s called Prescription Digital Therapies. Representing a new treatment modality, the use of digital therapeutics under physician supervision can enable digitally-delivered behavioral therapy that is prescribed, reimbursed and accessible to patients in need through the use of a smartphone. Last year, the company announced positive results of a pivotal trial in Type 2 diabetes which demonstrated the use of a Prescription Digital Therapeutic to have clinically meaningful changes in blood sugar control. The company has also expanded its efforts by applying Prescription Digital Therapeutics to combat the swelling burden of NAFLD and NASH. To do so, Mark and his team partnered with two of Naim’s clinics to conduct a feasibility study over the course of three months. Their aim was to recruit participants from a specialty clinic setting who exhibit a range of Fatty Liver disease states and develop data to understand the effects of their therapies on the liver and cardiometabolic condition. Targeting MRI-PDFF as a primary outcome measure, the topline results revealed that the majority of patients were able to demonstrate improved liver health.
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