a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: The Rise of the Digital ‘Pill’

Sean Duffy, Vijay Pande, and Malinka Walaliyadde

Posted April 27, 2017

The first thing that comes to mind when treating health problems is the need to take a pill (or other pharmaceutical) of some kind. But could a digital therapeutic — a software-based intervention — not only complement, but possibly even replace pills?

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, CEO of Omada Health Sean Duffy and a16z bio fund general partner Vijay Pande (in conversation with Malinka Walaliyadde) discuss the potential of digital therapeutics, which use software, design, and other carefully orchestrated elements to change behavior. (Because what is software, really, observes Duffy, but a way of changing behavior?)

Of course, digital therapeutics can augment medical treatment and make doctors better — but what advantages do such methods have over pills? How do we know it’s really working? And what role does digital health have in the continuing push towards value-based care?