Pear Therapeutics, Inc. this month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying that it had laid off about 92% of its staff but would still pursue a sale of the company or its assets. Health care insiders tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that the announcement by one of the pioneers in the prescription digital therapeutics (PDT) industry highlights the challenges such companies face getting their products reimbursed. The difficulties are exacerbated by investors being wary of backing companies that promise future growth but have yet to turn a profit.
In 2017, Pear’s reSET digital app to treat patients with substance use disorder became the first FDA-approved PDT, which are software-based therapies to treat medical and behavioral conditions. Since then, the FDA has approved more than 40 DPTs, according to Brandon Aylward, Ph.D., director of digital health for RTI International, a nonprofit research institute.