At CES 2019, the digital therapeutic company’s CEO and cofounder described work on an independent prescription, procurement and support platform specific to digital medicines.

igital therapeutics are a nascent corner of the healthcare technology industry. With few precedents available outside of novel drugs or medical devices, it would make sense that Pear Therapeutics, Proteus and other digital therapeutics companies furthest along the regulatory pipeline align themselves with industry partners well versed in selling and supporting a medical product.

As such, it came as a bit of a surprise when Akili Interactive Labs CEO and cofounder Eddie Martucci casually mentioned that his company would be bucking the trend of its contemporaries by building its own distribution platform for the video game-based therapeutic, as opposed to relying on relationships and sales channels of an established pharmaceutical company.

“There’s a little bit of a psychological assumption that the pharmaceutical industry must partner and deliver this for it to be a legitimate medicine,” Martucci said on stage yesterday at CES 2019’s Digital Health Summit. “I disagree vehemently. We may partner with pharmaceuticals or medical device manufacturers, but we are building today the end-to-end [prescription and procurement] process, the entire backend for digital medicine that doesn’t exist today — the sales force, the medical affairs, the insurance processing — that will enable a platform for scalable digital medicine. It’s expensive; we haven’t launched the product, we’ve raised $120 million. But it’s an investment worth making, and it’s something that I’m very passionate about.”