Digital health startup lays off 40% of workforce

Akili, a digital health company that was making video games to treat behavioral health disorders, is laying off 40 percent of its workforce as it switches business models, Boston Business Journal reported Sept. 14.

The company said it is no longer pursuing prescriptions for digital therapeutics and is instead switching to over-the-counter sales.  The decision comes as digital therapeutics companies have struggled to get insurers to cover software-based medical treatments.

In January Akili also laid off 48 workers, according to the outlet.

Alkili's one FDA-approved product, EndeavorRx, is a video game designed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"We have seen the non-prescription model play out with EndeavorOTC, which we released in June as a treatment for adults with ADHD. In its first three months on the market, consumer demand, engagement and retention all surpassed our expectations," Akili CEO and co-founder Eddie Martucci said. "We believe that our shift to a consumer-led model across our business will maximize our reach in the ADHD patient community and allow us to potentially expand into other large markets, without many of the high-cost centers of a prescription model."

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