SWORD Health, a digital therapy provider, today launched a telehealth service to meet the urgent need for and significant shortage of rehabilitation programs for COVID-19 patients. The program is the first of its kind in the US, pairing physical therapists with medical-grade and wearable technology so patients can make a full recovery from the comfort and safety of their homes.
For COVID-19 patients, the battle with the disease doesn’t end when they are well enough to leave the hospital. Many of those who develop moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19 will need to continue rehabilitation after they are discharged or risk developing chronic lung issues that can significantly impair their quality of life and ability to return to work. Pulmonary rehabilitation is effective in improving the physical function, quality of life, mental health and vitality1 of these patients, but it remains largely inaccessible and expensive in the U.S. today, with risks of contagion worsening what was already a difficult-to-access treatment.2
“Everyone who suffered from COVID-19 deserves a full recovery,” said Virgílio Bento, Founder and CEO of SWORD Health, “especially those putting themselves at risk to save lives and keep our cities going. We want to help people put COVID-19 behind them and get their lives back.”
To offer COVID-19 survivors a sigh of relief, SWORD Health accelerated development of its fully-remote pulmonary rehabilitation program and made it immediately available to businesses for their employees in 25 states. The program extends SWORD’s highly effective musculoskeletal therapy solution for back, joint and muscle pain, which was 30% more effective, and had higher retention rates (54% more) than in-person therapy. It includes an AI-enabled backend and a wearable-based biofeedback system that can track even the slightest errors in movements and ensure patients do exercises correctly from home. Rather than replace physical therapists with AI, AI assists PTs, synthesizing data from wearables to suggest changes in treatment plans. Adding in a pulse oximeter, patients can now be alerted when their oxygen levels are too low and need to take a break before continuing treatment. Treatment is highly personalized by SWORD physical therapists for each of their patients, and is based on the gold standard defined by the American Thoracic Society: exercise training, education, and behavior change.3
“The need for pulmonary rehab is already significant, and it’s growing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Fernando Correia, SWORD Health Chief Medical Officer. “With this new program, physical therapists will be able to provide immediate, clinical grade care to more patients, without burdening our essential workers with extra health and financial costs.”
SWORD’s full digital therapy program is available to all U.S. employers and health plans, and will be offered to qualified essential businesses at no cost for their employees.
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About SWORD Health
SWORD Health is a digital musculoskeletal (MSK) and pulmonary therapy provider that’s on a mission to free two billion people from chronic and post-surgical pain. The company’s digital therapy platform pairs expert physical therapists with medical-grade wearable technology to deliver a personalized treatment plan that is more effective, easier and less expensive than traditional physical therapy. SWORD believes in the power of people to recover at home, without resorting to imaging, surgeries or opioids.
Since launching in 2015, SWORD Health has worked with insurers, health systems and employers in the U.S, Europe and Australia to make quality physical therapy more accessible to everyone.
SWORD Health has offices in New York City, Salt Lake City and Porto.
1Schroff et al.; Pulmonary Rehabilitation Improves Outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Independent of Disease Burden, Annals of the American Thoracic Society
2Spitzer et al.; Participation in Pulmonary Rehabilitation Following Hospitalization for COPD among Medicare Beneficiaries, Annals of the American Thoracic Society
3Spruit et al.; ATS/ERS Task Force on Pulmonary Rehabilitation. An official American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society statement: key concepts and advances in pulmonary rehabilitation, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine