SWORD Health Raises $163M and Reaches $2B Valuation as the Fastest-Growing Digital MSK Company
The first virtual musculoskeletal company to reduce costs while delivering superior clinical outcomes, has achieved a 20x valuation growth in 12 months with an unmatched 12x client growth.
SWORD Health, the most clinical and comprehensive digital musculoskeletal (MSK) solution in the market, today announced its Series D funding round led by Sapphire Ventures, a leading global technology-focused venture capital firm with participation from new investors Sozo Ventures, Willoughby Capital, ADQ and Localglobe, and from all major investors including General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, Bond, Transformation Capital, and Green Innovations. This brings the total primary and secondary transactions to more than $320M invested in SWORD, with the current round valued at $1.8B, catapulting it to healthtech unicorn status. The primary funding round of $163M was heavily oversubscribed, resulting in investors purchasing an additional $26M, in a secondary transaction which propelled the valuation to $2B.
“SWORD Health’s approach to resolving MSK disorders is truly differentiated. Their unique PT + Digital Therapist model which includes an FDA listed device has gained significant market acceptance evidenced by their 12x customer growth,” said Rajeev Dham, Partner at Sapphire Ventures. “Through our market and customer work, we found that SWORD is providing tangible clinical outcomes to drive healthier, happier lives for individuals, and meaningful cost-savings for customers—a winning approach. Most of all, we are thrilled to partner with Virgilio, one of the hardest working and passionate founders we’ve encountered.”
The round will enable SWORD to accelerate its mission to free two billion people from physical pain through more personalized MSK based offerings—from prevention to post-surgical care—while still remaining at the forefront of value-based digital MSK care and expanding local and global operations among self-insured employers, health plans and other entities.
“I started SWORD after a traumatic personal experience where I saw first-hand the challenges that families face when they have to recover a loved one,” shared Virgilio Bento, founder and CEO of SWORD Health. “It’s been truly humbling to see the impact SWORD is having on thousands of members across the globe. With this new funding, we will accelerate our value creation for members, self-insured employers and health plans, as we continue to build the flagship digital MSK solution in the healthcare world, everywhere and for everyone.”
SWORD recently launched the most complete end-to-end clinical solution—SWORD+—with three groundbreaking features.First, ASK a PT ™ is a 24/7 solution connecting members with physical therapists to answer general questions about physical pain. Second, Digital Guardian™ has a wearable component which monitors and corrects unsafe movements to prevent workplace injury, and, finally, The Academy which is a unique blend of Masterclass and customized educational content. This, along with its existing hallmark solution, the Digital Therapist™, has established SWORD as the most innovative and personalized digital MSK program today.
"It is exciting and important to see the growth in SWORD, since their mission to free people from musculoskeletal pain aligns with our goal to help our employees through what are often debilitating conditions," said Amy Broghammer, Health and Welfare Benefits Manager at Danaher. "Their expanded product offerings will provide even deeper support, further reaffirming why we selected SWORD through our stringent vendor evaluation to find the very best MSK solution."
SWORD Health has experienced exponential growth over the last 18 months. Three out of four employers that conducted head-to-head evaluations among MSK solutions have selected SWORD. They have cited a variety of reasons: 100% of its services are provided by Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT), an FDA-listed device that provides clinical data to DPTs to personalize the member journey, and third-party validation for both clinical results and savings.
ABOUT SWORD HEALTH
SWORD Health, the world’s fastest growing virtual musculoskeletal (MSK) care provider, is on a mission to free two billion people from physical pain. It delivers 100% of care to members through Doctors of Physical Therapy and the FDA-listed SWORD Health Digital Therapist. SWORD’s personalized care is more effective and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care, and has been third-party validated to deliver best-in-class clinical results. With the preventative care delivered through SWORD+, it is the industry’s only end-to-end digital MSK solution. Since launching in 2015, SWORD Health has worked with insurers, health systems, and employers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia to make high quality musculoskeletal care accessible to everyone.
ABOUT SAPPHIRE VENTURES
Sapphire is a leading global technology-focused venture capital firm with more than $6.8 billion in AUM with team members across Austin, London, New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco. For more than two decades, Sapphire has partnered with visionary management teams and venture funds to help scale companies of consequence. Since its founding, Sapphire has invested in more than 165 companies globally resulting in 29 IPOs and 45 acquisitions. The firm’s investment strategies — Sapphire Ventures, Sapphire Partners and Sapphire Sport — are focused on scaling companies and venture funds, elevating them to become category leaders. Sapphire’s Portfolio Growth team of experienced operators delivers a strategic blend of value-add services, tools and resources designed to support portfolio company leaders as they scale. To learn more about Sapphire, visit: https://sapphireventures.com
SWORD Health and American Physical Therapy Association Announce Collaboration
April 20, 2022
This is the first collaboration between the American Physical Therapy Association and a digital MSK care solution SWORD has committed to providing financial support to stimulate research around digital physical therapy and to sponsor scholarships to promote diversity in the profession SWORD Health commits to supporting efforts to integrate digital and hybrid care models in clinical practice, including standards of practice, use of qualified health professionals, and connection to in-person clinics and professions when appropriate NEW YORK, NY (April 21, 2022) — SWORD Health, the fastest growing digital musculoskeletal (MSK) solution on the market, has announced a strategic collaboration with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to advance research around digital physical therapy and to support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) within the PT profession. SWORD is also committed to collaborating on policy initiatives to improve and standardize direct access laws at the state level, with national payers and in federal programs and to improve licensure mobility and portability by improved utilization of the national physical therapy licensure compact. “APTA has been at the forefront in actively working towards reducing inequalities and barriers to care for most of its 100 year history. SWORD Health’s continued resolve to support efforts to shine a brighter light around physical therapy, uphold the profession’s standards, promote its efficacy and need and propel the profession further is fully aligned with our mission.” said Justin Moore, CEO of APTA. “SWORD’s initiative to fund APTA’s efforts in driving new models of care and opening avenues for underserved communities is something we look towards with excitement.” SWORD will commit at least $100,000 on an annual basis, which will entail contributions to: APTA’s research partner, The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research, in the form of grants to explore digital approaches and quality of care of digital practices; The PT Fund, to sponsor scholarships for individuals from underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in physical therapy and to achieve certification as specialists in Women’s Health. This initiative is the first step towards a deeper relationship between both entities, as SWORD Health will also collaborate with APTA on its ChoosePT platform to raise awareness towards the benefits of physical therapy in addressing MSK conditions as well as advocacy efforts to reduce barriers to accessing PT and integrating digital and hybrid care models in clinical practice. “We are very proud and honored to collaborate with APTA in propelling a digital transformation that can benefit the profession and pave the way for a more sustainable, equitable healthcare system. As a pioneering company in the digital MSK space, we are compelled to invest in a significant program to address inequalities in access to care and create scholarships for individuals from underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in Physical Therapy,” stated Dr. Vijay Yanamadala, Chief Medical Officer. SWORD Health is uniquely positioned in the digital MSK space, as it is: The most clinically rigorous solution, where 100% of clinical care is provided by PTs, licensed in all states across the US. The most validated digital MSK solution, with the most number of peer-reviewed publications and randomized controlled trials The most comprehensive digital MSK solution, including sensor base technology and video motion capture technology for back, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle, and now pelvic health with Bloom, a unique solution to address women’s physical health. SWORD plans to further support APTA members through education, digital innovations and other collaborations through the association’s multiple initiatives. ABOUT SWORD HEALTH SWORD Health is the world’s fastest growing digital musculoskeletal (MSK) care provider, on a mission to free two billion people from acute, chronic, and post-surgical pain. It is the first digital solution to pair its members with a licensed physical therapist and the SWORD Health Digital Therapist, to deliver a clinically-proven, personalized treatment plan that is more effective, easier, and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care. SWORD Health believes in the power of people to recover at home, without resorting to imaging, surgeries or opioids. With the preventative care delivered through SWORD+, it is the industry's only end-to-end digital MSK solution. Since launching in 2015, SWORD Health has worked with insurers, health systems, and employers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia to make high quality musculoskeletal care accessible to everyone. An ABOUT APTA APTA and its more than 100,000 members are leading voices and influencers for the physical therapy profession and a strong collective force for improving the human experience. APTA advocates for policy change, raises public awareness, advances evidence-based practice, supports the continued growth of our members, and develops the next generation of clinicians, leaders, and researchers. Founded in 1921, APTA is presently a community of 51 chapters and 18 academies and sections that are dedicated to advancing the profession to improve the health of individuals, communities and society.Read More
SWORD Health Publishes the First Clinical Study that Demonstrates Superior Patient Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Shoulder Pain
March 30, 2022
The real-world cohort study of 296 patients revealed significantly improved health-related outcomes in patients with chronic shoulder pain The digital care program (DCP) for chronic shoulder pain resulted in pain reduction of 54.8%, a 44.1% drop in medication intake, and a 55.5% reduction in surgery intent. NEW YORK, NY (March 31, 2022) — SWORD Health, the digital musculoskeletal (MSK) solution on the market with highest clinical excellence, released clinical study results that shared significant improvement in health-related outcomes for patients with chronic shoulder pain. The study, published in the Journal of Pain Research, focused on clinical outcomes in members going through SWORD’s care programs for chronic shoulder pain. It is the first real-world study reporting the results of multimodal digital MSK care programs for chronic shoulder conditions. Shoulder pain (SP) has a lifetime prevalence of nearly 70% and is therefore one of the most common musculoskeletal (MSK) complaints in primary care. Importantly, after a first episode of shoulder pain, about 50% of cases become chronic, making SP one of the most prevalent causes of chronic MSK pain. Chronic SP is a significant cause of morbidity with tremendous impact on quality of life, psychological dis- tress, and work ability. Between 4 - 6 individuals with disabling shoulder disorders are expected to lose between 1.8 and 8.1 years of working life. Substantial social burden arises therefore not only from utilization of healthcare resources but also from productivity decline, with sick leaves contributing massively for SP costs. Shoulder pain is the third main complaint in primary care settings. Approximately 65% - 70% of these involve problems in the rotator cuff tendons (ROCTs), with incidence rising higher after the fourth decade of life. The ROCT dysfunction represents, therefore, a huge burden for healthcare systems, insurance companies, and employers alike. In the United States, the annual financial burden of ROCT management was estimated at US $3 billion. Clinical Study insights The clinical study included 296 participants and revealed that patients reported a 55% reduction in pain, a 52% reduction in shoulder-related disability, and a 55% reduction in intent to pursue surgery. Significant improvement in anxiety and depression was also noted, with reductions of 50% and 64%, respectively, in overall scores. Productivity losses were reduced by a staggering 67%. The high completion and engagement rates highlight a clinically significant improvement in all health- related outcomes as well as marked productivity recovery. “This study, along with the others we have been publishing, shows that our evidence-based programs can bring about clinically meaningful improvements in pain, disability, productivity and also in mental health in all levels of acuity and different clinical conditions. It also highlights the importance of rigorous nonoperative strategies to avoid surgery. It also demonstrates, once again, our very high engagement and completion rates, which are crucial to achieving long lasting improvements. We are deeply committed to providing high-quality care to all our members, leading them to less pain and a better quality of life.” shared Dr. Vijay Yanamadala, Chief Medical Officer of SWORD Health. Another clinical study from SWORD Health, published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders in January, revealed equally impressive outcomes in patients going through SWORD’s digital care programs for acute conditions involving several body areas, along with very high adherence and retention rates. Since SWORD’s inception in 2015, the digital MSK solutions company has committed to providing the best care possible to people suffering from pain and disability caused by musculoskeletal conditions. The company has built the most clinical-grade care solutions in this space, pairing Doctors of Physical Therapy with the best-in-class technology in order to provide the best outcomes for patients. ABOUT SWORD HEALTH SWORD Health is the world’s fastest growing digital musculoskeletal (MSK) care provider, on a mission to free two billion people from acute, chronic, and post-surgical pain. It is the first digital solution to pair its members with a licensed physical therapist and the SWORD Health Digital Therapist, to deliver a clinically-proven, personalized treatment plan that is more effective, easier, and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care. SWORD Health believes in the power of people to recover at home, without resorting to imaging, surgeries or opioids. With the preventative care delivered through SWORD+, it is the industry's only end-to-end digital MSK solution. Since entering the market in 2020, SWORD Health has worked with insurers, health systems, and employers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia to make high quality musculoskeletal care accessible to everyone.Read More
SWORD Health Launches SWORD360, the Most Comprehensive Data Platform in the Physical Health Space
March 9, 2022
SWORD360 will help eliminate healthcare information silos, which are detrimental to patient outcomes and unnecessarily increase healthcare costs. SWORD360 is designed to improve care by relieving patients and providers of the burden associated with retrieval and sharing of medical records by establishing a secure mechanism of real-time information in the healthcare ecosystem; This innovative platform will make it easier to deliver holistic member care, to manage musculoskeletal health, and to prevent unnecessary care, simply by connecting with all stakeholders in a member’s health and wellness path; By enabling providers to have nearly access to the relevant data about their patients’ care, SWORD360 will help to reduce the estimated $72.8B in US healthcare waste. SWORD Health™, the fastest growing digital musculoskeletal (MSK) solution in the market, launches SWORD360, a data integration platform that will seamlessly coordinate and communicate care across the member journey, starting with traditional healthcare providers. Health care members are often burdened with their health care data living in silos. Each time they see a new provider, they may need to remember every detail of their past medical history or spend countless hours trying to get access to their medical records due to a lack of interoperability. Lack of information sharing creates redundant or unnecessary care costs and lack of clarity for patients. SWORD Health is taking the first step to free members of that burden through SWORD 360. SWORD360 is the data platform to connect information about a member’s health and wellness with their entire healthcare ecosystem, including employer benefits managers, health plans, partners, and traditional healthcare providers. This will enable a tailored and personalized member experience and allow clinicians to confirm, validate, and enhance a patient’s records. By working to securely combine information with a member’s existing health care providers, associated payers, or health insurance plan, it will help SWORD members avoid overtreatment or redundant care. With access to 90% of US electronic medical records and 80% ambulatory records at launch, SWORD360 will seamlessly integrate data from: 120,000+ connected care sites 800,000+ healthcare providers 220+ million patients 92% U.S. geo-coverage and growing aggregated data across 50 states and Puerto Rico The new bi-directional data platform will be available to all clients and members at no additional cost, reinforcing SWORD’s commitment as the top clinical grade MSK solution on the market. “Streamlining information sharing between medical providers will significantly optimize our members’ care. With SWORD 360, our physical therapists will have access to critical information in a new member’s medical history, which will allow them to better tailor their digital therapy regimens. Because information is also shared universally with a member’s medical providers, their primary care doctors or other specialists and SWORD doctors will be able to easily communicate and make recommendations for virtual MSK care, helping members to avoid potential treatments such as prescription medications or surgery. This is a first of many steps forward that will also address systemic barriers to eliminating waste in the healthcare system.” said Virgilio Bento, CEO and founder at SWORD Health. SWORD360’s insights will allow for real-time understanding of members’ needs, allowing SWORD clinicians the opportunity to intervene and work with members to address potentially unnecessary, costly musculoskeletal care and be directed towards other benefits, including digital physical therapy or other relevant services available through their employers and/or health plans. The data platform is simplifying the putting the member at the center of the experience, integrating the experience of the patient to offer them a tailored and personalized member experience. SWORD360 will connect with all stakeholders in a member’s health and wellness. This includes helping employers get easy access to understanding their population’s health and engagement, coordinating with health plans to ensure interoperability and patient access, and enabling seamless care for members by working with partners such as digital health and care solutions to co-treat patients via common workflows and a shared patient record. ABOUT SWORD HEALTH SWORD Health is the world’s fastest growing digital musculoskeletal (MSK) care provider, on a mission to free two billion people from acute, chronic, and post-surgical pain. It is the first digital solution to pair its members with a licensed physical therapist and the SWORD Health Digital Therapist, to deliver a clinically-proven, personalized treatment plan that is more effective, easier, and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care. SWORD Health believes in the power of people to recover at home, without resorting to imaging, surgeries or opioids. With the preventative care delivered through SWORD+, it is the industry's only end-to-end digital MSK solution. Since launching in 2015, SWORD Health has worked with insurers, health systems, and employers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia to make high quality musculoskeletal care accessible to everyone.Read More