- Bayer is launching a business unit to develop consumer precision health products, marking another pharma and biotech company to move deeper into the digital health realm.
- The company said the new group will focus on tools that could help patients make informed choices by providing more personal health information, which could prevent or better manage disease.
- The multinational pharma giant will work with startups and other digital health companies as well as expand its own portfolio of digital health capabilities.
Bayer isn’t a newcomer to digital health, investing in and partnering with other digital health players and developing its own products. Earlier this year, it built an online tool for assessing cardiovascular risk factors with Huma Therapeutics.
The pharma company previously partnered with Ada Health to integrate its symptom checker into Bayer brands, and its investment arm led Ada’s Series B raise announced in 2021. Bayer has also invested in and collaborated with digital diabetes and heart health company One Drop.
“Digital health products are a perfect addition to the treatments we have offered for decades,” Aquil Harjivan, R&D head of digital health for Bayer’s consumer health division, said in a statement. “We believe the best of precision health will be driven by partnerships so we look forward to working with the most innovative, evidence-driven companies committed to transforming everyday health.”
The company didn’t provide details on what it will pursue in its precision health unit, but said it will “focus on addressing unmet needs in its core categories, delivering new evidence-based precision health products to market that offer end-to-end self-care, and scaling technologies globally.”
Investment in digital health companies dove last year after funding soared in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though investment is still lower than previous years, a report by CB Insights found it held steady in the first quarter in 2023.
Other pharma companies have been diving into the space, including Sanofi in its agreement with chronic condition management company DarioHealth and Boehringer Ingelheim’s partnership with digital therapeutics maker Click Therapeutics.