Kaia Health has released follow-up results from the Rise-uP study, showing that its digital therapy resulted in superior long-term outcomes in clinical improvement and cost savings as a treatment approach to lower back pain. 

Users of the Kaia app saw a 46% reduction in pain intensity at 12 months, compared to the 24% reduction in the control group. This builds on initial three-month findings, where Kaia users reported a 33% pain reduction versus 14% for the control group.

Kaia app users also experienced improvements in functional ability and physical wellbeing, unlike the control group, which saw minimal change.

Beyond physical benefits, the study showed that the Kaia app led to mental health improvements, reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. In contrast, the control group experienced worsening mental health.

The Rise-uP study enrolled 1,237 patients with non-specific lower back pain (NLBP). Assessments of pain, psychological state, functional capacity, and well-being were collected at baseline, and 3, 6, and 12-month follow-up intervals. Patient-reported experience measures were captured at the end of the trial. 

Kaia’s app offers an extensive training programme that includes knowledge, workout, and relaxation courses. The real-time feedback-generating motion coach is also able to offer treatment for neck, hip, knee, shoulder, hand / wrist, and foot / ankle pain. In April 2021, Kaia secured $75m in a Series C funding round led by Optum Ventures, Eurazeo, 3VC, and others. This builds on a $26m Series B closed in 2020.

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The societal and economic burden of low back pain is substantial, with many patients presenting with increased depression and anxiety, which can impact their productivity. Participants in the Rise-uP group saw an 81% decrease in overall healthcare costs compared to the control group, primarily driven by a reduction in costs associated with hospital treatment, medication costs, and incapacity for work.

Kaia Health’s CEO Konstantin Mehl said: “These findings reinforce our commitment to providing innovative, cost-effective, accessible digital health solutions that improve the lives of people suffering from chronic pain.”

The virtual care space has gained momentum in the last few years. According to GlobalData analysis, this is especially due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying surge in demand for remote healthcare solutions.