Digital therapeutics maker BehaVR combines with Fern Health to build chronic pain care platform

Less than a year after absorbing fellow virtual reality-based digital therapeutics maker OxfordVR, BehaVR is bulking up its business through yet another merger.

The Nashville-based company has inked a deal to combine with Fern Health, the developer of a virtual coaching and education platform that’s provided through employers and health plans to help people address the physical, emotional and social causes of chronic pain.

Together, according to their Thursday announcement, BehaVR and Fern Health will become RealizedCare, which will offer a platform combining Fern Health’s virtual care services with BehaVR’s digital therapeutics technology.

RealizedCare will be led by Aaron Gani, the founder and CEO of BehaVR. German pharma Grünenthal, the majority owner of Fern Health, has signed on as a strategic investor in the company.

“We’ve spent the last five years building, perfecting and validating evidence-based, immersive, digital therapeutics designed to address fear and pain,” Gani said in the release. “Through this new offering, we will unlock the power of those interventions to scale personalized care to individuals impacted by chronic pain in a way that prioritizes outcomes, and offers the integrated support needed to manage these symptoms effectively.”

Since its 2016 founding, BehaVR has been developing digital therapeutics with an aim of treating a variety of mental and behavioral health conditions, including anxiety, stress, pain and addiction. Its treatments are designed to be immersive, delivered to patients through a virtual reality headset, with doctors able to monitor their progress throughout.

According to the company, multiple studies have shown that using BehaVR’s Pain Neuroscience Education module, one part of its digital program for chronic pain management, increased the likelihood by 2.5 times that a patient would experience a clinically significant reduction in their symptoms.

The merger with OxfordVR late last year added the gameChange treatment to BehaVR’s slate. A recipient of the FDA’s breakthrough device designation, the prescription-only gameChange uses VR technology to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy to adults who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or another mood disorder with symptoms of psychosis and who are experiencing anxiety and paranoia.

Now, with Fern Health’s technology added to the mix, the newly minted RealizedCare will offer a broader slate of mental and behavioral health treatments: Users will have access to personalized coaching, mindfulness and calming practices and gamified physical activities. They’ll also be able to connect with others with shared experiences through a peer-support platform from PatientsLikeMe—RealizedCare’s first member engagement partner—and they can be referred to doctors through RealizedCare when needed, too.

To start, RealizedCare’s platform will focus on chronic pain management. But the company plans to adapt its digital care model to a wider range of conditions in the future.