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.
Naim leads this conversation by elaborating on his involvement in a feasibility study with Better Therapuetics on use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for improving liver health.
Mark and his team partnered with two of Naim’s clinics to conduct the 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. Naim discusses why they chose targeting MRI-PDFF as a primary outcome measure. He explains that while a 90-day window is restrictive in terms of identifying fibrosis improvement, changes in AST and ALT were examined in addition to analysis of FibroScan metrics. It’s noted that increased engagement with the app correlated with improved weight and liver enzyme values. Naim goes on to share ideas around implementing combination therapies which harness the unique utility of digital apps with agents like resmetirom or semaglutide. From here, the session opens up to impressions and questions of the other panelists. Jörn Schattenberg highlights quality of life as a valuable endpoint and Louise comments on the benefit behind what’s described as a “non-medical” approach where patients are in command of their wellness journey. Roger Green asks Mark to expand on the premise and deployment of Better Therapeutic’s curated cognitive behavioral therapy.
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