Ypsomed brings Sidekick on board to fight self-injection anxiety


Asking patients with chronic conditions to regularly inject themselves can be challenging, causing needle anxiety and worry that they may not carry out the procedure correctly, which can reduce compliance. Now, a partnership between Ypsomed and Sidekick Heath aims to tackle that problem.

Ypsomed is a top developer of injection and infusion systems, so knows a lot about the difficulties that patients can face when getting to grips with these medical devices, particularly when they are just starting out with therapy.

With Sidekick, the company intends to take a digital approach to the problem through the development of a module specifically targeted towards patients with chronic conditions who need to self-inject therapies on a regular basis.

"A wide range of independent research shows that there is a risk of patients using their injection devices incorrectly," according to Gulli Arnason, Sidekick's chief marketing and communications officer.

"The collaboration is all about putting patients first," he told pharmaphorum. "We will be jointly co-developing […] a clinical grade piece of software that supports patients during their injection routine [to provide] guidance, positive habit building and negative habit breaking, adherence optimisation, as well as fear and anxiety of needle reduction."

Sidekick's digital therapeutics (DTx) platform, based on gamified health apps that help patients modify behaviours and adhere to therapy, is already being used by pharma companies to support specific drug therapies in areas like atopic dermatitis and breast cancer.

The new alliance sets up a drug therapy-agnostic use for the DTx, applicable to any therapy that makes use of self-injection devices, such as Ypsomed's YpsoMate pen injector. The module will be integrated into Sidekick's current DTx range and marketed under its brand to pharmaceutical and payer customers, who will benefit from "better insight into therapy adherence and treatment efficacy."

In future, Ypsomed's smart auto injectors "will be offered to patients pre-integrated into Sidekick DTx, enabling us to offer a fully integrated and seamless patient experience, helping patients tackle some of the most complex diseases in the world," said Arnason.

Sidekick and Ypsomed say the approach will be particularly valuable for oncology, immunology or metabolic disease applications, and has the potential to improve patients' quality of life, as well as the outcome of their treatment.