Hinge Health raises $8M Series A, on mission to use technology to tackle $100bn a year cost of workplace low back and joint pain

Digital health startup tackling musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders is demonstrating that the future of care can be universal and is unequivocally digital.

24th July 2017, San Francisco & London - Hinge Health, a San Francisco and London-based digital health company using hardware and software to tackle musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries, has today announced an $8m Series A investment. The round was led by leading international venture capital firm Atomico, a $765m technology fund based in London, and saw all existing seed investors also participating. Carolina Brochado, Partner at Atomico, will be joining the Hinge Health board.

Over 50% of the US workforce will report a musculoskeletal (MSK) disorder every year - such as knee pain, shoulder pain, or back pain - costing employers in the US alone around $100bn a year. Many millions of workdays are lost annually, often due to injuries which are easily treatable. Workers, on the other hand, frequently receive suboptimal care or unnecessary medical procedures and are forced to live with pain causing loss in productivity, depression, weight gain and over reliance on opioids and surgery.

Hinge Health is using technology to pioneer evidence-based Digital Care Pathways for MSK conditions. By combining wearable sensors and thoughtfully designed software to remotely deliver physical therapy and behavioral health for chronic MSK conditions, Hinge Health has been proven to reduce healthcare costs to employers by 50% and deliver best-practice care for employees. With data on over 1,000 patients to-date, Hinge Health has demonstrated a 55% improvement in both chronic lower back pain and knee pain, while avoiding 60% of surgeries - a clear indication that the future of MSK care is unequivocally digital.

While other care indications such as diabetes and mental health receive vastly more attention, according to IBM’s Truven Health Analytics musculoskeletal disorders (MSK) remains by far the largest and fastest growing cost driver of America’s healthcare system - consuming 1 in 6 health-care dollars, and is the #1 healthcare expense for self-insured employers.

Hinge Health co-founder and CEO Daniel Perez said, “Most chronic conditions have clear clinical guidelines underpinned by a solid evidence base. However, these guidelines are often not followed because it is too onerous for the patient and doctor. Lower back pain and knee arthritis are prime examples, where non-surgical guidelines are not followed. The result is that patients are shunted onto opiates and eventually surgery. Our vision to improve the scale, experience and ultimately outcomes for patients by using technology to better deliver evidence-based care, with MSK as our first beachhead.”

The clinical outcome improvements, paired with the significantly reduced medical costs, are resulting in quick adoption of Hinge Health’s Digital Care Pathways by employers and health plans. Especially in the wake of the opioid epidemic in America, with chronic pain being the entry-point for many patients.

The company will use this latest funding round to expand its existing product offering, covering both chronic lower back and knee pain, to encompass new treatment programs for hip, shoulder, and neck pain. Already the market leader in MSK, by expanding into hip, shoulder and neck Hinge Health will be positioned to offer an even greater range of tech-enabled, non-invasive treatments to employers and employees across the globe.

Carolina Brochado, Partner at Atomico, said “At Atomico we believe that some of the biggest innovations in how people live over the next decade will happen in healthcare. We believe this will be driven by tech-enabled solutions that bring consistent high quality care to even the most remote places, and especially to those who might not have had access to it before. Hinge Health is a powerful example of this, showing strong commercial traction and proven clinical outcomes helping those with MSK feel better, faster and avoid costly MRIs and surgery.”

The funding comes one year after Hinge Health closed a $1.3M seed round in June 2016, bringing the total amount raised by the 2.5 year old company to just over $10M. With the fresh round of funding the company will focus on growing its sales, product and engineering teams in London and San Francisco, and continue to to expand its commercial footprint within the US.

Hinge Health kits come with two Hinge bands with embedded motion sensors, a tablet computer with pre-installed Hinge Health software, a tablet stand, carrying case, instruction manual, charging unit and works right out of the box requiring zero setup by the patient.

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