Eli Lilly taps Sidekick Health to tailor smartphone apps for breast cancer patients

Eli Lilly has joined forces with the digital therapeutics developer Sidekick Health to offer tailored apps that help patients with breast cancer stick to their medication regimens. The duo also said they plan to expand their work into other disease and treatment areas. 

Set to launch first in Germany this July, Sidekick’s programs will promote a series of tasks—focused on physical activity, diet, sleep and stress management, in addition to medication adherence—using game-like measures to reward healthy habits among people participating in clinical trials, as well as patients taking a Lilly-branded therapy.

Participating patients will also be able to access educational content developed in league with advocacy groups and clinical experts.

“At Sidekick, it is our goal to empower patients to take real steps toward better managing their disease and alleviating the negative side effects of treatment,” Co-founder and CEO Tryggvi Thorgeirsson said in a statement. 

“Cancer treatment often leaves patients physically and emotionally drained and, as a result, we are making it as easy and convenient as possible to access life-saving guidance by bringing healthcare into people's homes," Thorgeirsson added.

The companies said the collaboration will “mark the first phase” of their relationship; the next steps being considered include broadening their reach into wider international markets.

"Breast cancer takes a toll on an individual's physical and mental health, making support of both extremely important during the treatment journey," said Lilly's chief digital officer, Rich Carter. 

The team-up comes shortly after Sidekick raised $55 million in venture capital funding to grow its video-game-like platforms to people with multiple chronic conditions. 

The Swedish company has previously signed Big Pharma partnerships to provide complementary digital programs alongside prescription drugs, including with Bayer in peripheral artery disease and Pfizer for a slate of five inflammatory conditions.