Recent results from a large-scale clinical trial indicate that the Kaia Health digital musculoskeletal (MSK) therapy platform reduces patient costs considerably compared to conventional therapy for low back pain. The Kaia app applies computer vision technology through the camera on a smartphone to monitor users performing physical therapy exercises on their own without a physical therapist present. The Kaia app even provides real-time exercise corrections to maximize their benefits and prevent injuries. 

Known as Rise-uP, the ongoing, multicenter, randomized controlled trial examined claims data from more than 1,200 patients with non-specific low back pain. Trial investigators evaluated the medical claims of patients using Kaia within a therapy program and those of a control group receiving the standard therapy that is typically prescribed for the condition. The investigators identified an 80% reduction in costs over a 12-month period for the Kaia users compared to the control group.

Last July, we reported that a clinical study confirmed that Kaia’s exercise corrections are as accurate as corrections from a live, in-person physical therapist. And in 2020, we covered results from another study that showed that the digital MSK app had better patient outcomes than standard back pain treatments

Low back pain affects around 7.4% of the global population, or roughly 577 million people. A 2020 review of United States insurance and government records revealed that healthcare spending was highest for low back and neck pain compared to all other health conditions. In 2016, total spending for low back and neck treatment was $134.5 billion; individuals paid $12.3 billion out of pocket, while private and public insurers spent $73.3 billion and ​​$46.9 billion, respectively. And according to the CDC, nearly 14% of medical visits for acute back pain in 2017 resulted in an opioid prescription. 

Kaia’s digital solution makes effective MSK therapy affordable and accessible to anyone with a smartphone. Digital MSK solutions like Kaia increase the chances that patients will experience pain relief and other benefits from physical therapy, decreasing the need for opioids and other medications. Factoring in the latest study, an impressive body of research now supports Kaia as an essential tool for treating non-specific low back pain. That should boost its appeal significantly for patients, practitioners, employers, and health plans.