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SWORD Health becomes the only digital musculoskeletal care provider with HITRUST®, SOC 2 and FDA certifications

SWORD Health, a leading provider of digital musculoskeletal (MSK) care, today announced SWORD Health’s digital therapy platform and several of its applications have earned Certified status for information security by HITRUST.

The company also completed its Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 2 examination with zero exceptions. The independent audit confirmed SWORD Health’s digital therapy platform meets the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Trust Service Principles and Criteria for System and Organization Control.

These achievements, coupled with SWORD Health’s FDA-listed class II medical device, distinguish SWORD Health as the most certified and secure digital provider of MSK care in the United States.

“SWORD Health is committed to the highest medical standards in all aspects of care, and that includes the privacy and security of our patients’ information,” said Virgilio Bento, SWORD Health’s CEO. “Earning HITRUST CSF Certified™ status and SOC 2 compliance demonstrates to our customers and patients that they can have confidence in industry-recognized, gold standards of safety, security, privacy, and care.”

HITRUST CSF Certified status demonstrates that SWORD Health’s digital therapy platform has met key regulations and industry-defined requirements and is appropriately managing risk. By including federal and state regulations, standards and frameworks and incorporating a risk-based approach, the HITRUST CSF® helps organizations address these challenges through a comprehensive and flexible framework of prescriptive and scalable security controls.

“HITRUST helps organizations meet the highest standards of information protection requirements whenever sensitive data is accessed or stored,” stated Jeremy Huval, Chief Compliance Officer, HITRUST. “We recognize SWORD Health as a company that customers and patients can count on to keep their information safe.”

About SWORD Health

SWORD Health is a digital musculoskeletal (MSK) care provider on a mission to free two billion people from chronic and post-surgical pain.

The company’s clinical-grade digital therapy platform pairs expert physical therapists with FDA-listed wearable technology to deliver a personalized treatment plan that is more effective, easier and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care, physical therapy. SWORD Health 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.

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An open letter to the digital musculoskeletal care industry

We’re on the threshold of a revolution in musculoskeletal (MSK) care. The recent acquisitions, funding, and lofty plans from digital providers are signals that the market is waking up to what those of us at the forefront have known all along – digital solutions can solve the physical health crisis in this country.

This is our moment, and we get one shot to do it right. We must remember that MSK conditions are serious, and the consequences of mistreatment have cost us billions of dollars and countless lives. Solving this problem requires nothing less than the highest level of quality and care.

At SWORD, we’ve been delivering clinical-grade MSK care for five years on three continents, treating thousands of patients with chronic, acute and post-surgical conditions. We promised early on that we would always provide the highest quality of care to our members, and when we make promises, we keep them.

So today, I urge us all to make promises we can keep.

Let’s promise to treat our members with real clinicians, and only clinicians. At SWORD, our members only interact with a licensed physical therapist – never a health coach or other non-clinician – and they only ever will. The MSK system is complex, and diagnosing and treating these conditions requires deep expertise. Putting MSK sufferers in the care of non-clinicians puts members at risk of being misdiagnosed, incorrectly treated and poorly monitored. Having a clinician present for only part of the journey isn’t enough, because non-clinicians can fail to recognize patterns that may be signs of more serious issues. This means we all need to employ enough physical therapists to ensure that every member gets their own PT, and the number of PTs should far exceed the number of clients.

Let’s promise to invest in the safety and precision of our technology. We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure our sensors are safe and precise enough to provide clinical-grade care. SWORD’s Digital Therapist is an FDA-listed class II medical device. Certification is a lengthy and costly process: it took SWORD over a year to certify our sensor technology. We invest time and energy in certifying our sensors for medical use because we believe it is absolutely necessary to guarantee the best care possible. We urge others in the industry to do the same, for the health and safety of their members.

Let’s promise not to rush new treatments to market. Our solution already covers all the major MSK conditions – those affecting back, shoulder, neck, knee, hip, ankle and elbow – at any point in the journey, from prevention, to acute conditions, to chronic pain, to recovering from surgery. These programs were years in the making, and included rigorous internal and clinical testing and refinement to ensure safety and efficacy. We didn’t launch them until we were certain they could be used the very next day. We counsel the industry to take great care in developing each new treatment, recognizing that the needs of chronic, acute and post-surgical patients are unique, and each new treatment needs to be developed with care.

Let’s promise to validate our solutions against the gold standard of care. If you believe, as we do, that digital solutions deserve to become the new standard of care, the only way we’ll achieve this is by validating our programs in clinical trials against the current gold standard – traditional physical therapy. We have validated our solution against traditional PT and found it to be 30% more effective. This complements our market data – both clinical studies and real-world outcomes are needed to prove the validity and quality. Clinical trials with no control group, or where the control group receives no treatment, aren’t to be taken as proof the solution works better than the best care. They’re only proof that the solution is better than nothing at all. Controlled clinical studies are expensive and time-consuming to run, but we urge you all to invest in them.

Developing truly clinical-grade treatments takes dedication, integrity and time – and most importantly, it takes commitment at the core.

Since Day 1, we have been committed to providing a clinical-grade digital treatment, never taking shortcuts, never pretending to be something we’re not, and always keeping our promises.

At SWORD, we promise we’ll always provide clinical-grade care, for the health and safety of our members, and we hope that the rest of the industry can keep their promises, too.

Digital MSK: this is our moment. Let’s make it matter.

Yours in health,
V

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SWORD Health appoints Brian Marcotte to lead Client Advisory Board

SWORD Health, a digital musculoskeletal and pulmonary therapy provider, today announced the appointment of industry paragon Brian Marcotte to lead their Client Advisory Board.

 

Brian is the former President and CEO of Business Group on Health, the leading advocate for large employers in healthcare policy and benefits strategy. At the Business Group, Brian established the Health Innovations Forum, which helped accelerate market traction for promising digital health startups, and the Executive Committee on Value Purchasing, a cross-industry council focused on shifting the market toward value-based pricing and provider accountability. Prior to the Business Group, Brian was the Vice President of Compensation and Benefits for Honeywell International where he implemented innovative solutions to help employees maximize their experience with the healthcare delivery system.

 

“Virtual care is taking off, and COVID-19 is giving it a jump start. We’re seeing an explosion of digital solutions in the MSK space, but SWORD stands apart because they provide virtual MSK care at the level of quality that employers, plans and members require,” said Brian. “SWORD has the potential to help make physical therapy accessible to millions of people, drastically improving outcomes and reducing unnecessary expenses, and I am excited to bring together the industry’s best to help them do it.”

 

Brian will establish and preside over SWORD’s Client Advisory Board, bringing together a cross-section of industry stakeholders to understand their current challenges and future needs, and collaborating with SWORD’s leadership team on strategy, innovation and go-to-market initiatives that will benefit the entire market.

 

“We have spent years developing a clinical-grade solution that members love, but we’re far from finished. We want to keep innovating, and we know we need to do it right,” said Virgílio Bento, Founder and CEO, SWORD Health. “Brian is one of the most respected leaders in the employer benefits space, and he understands the needs of employers, plans, providers and members like nobody else. Under Brian’s stewardship, SWORD will be able to keep pushing the envelope in a way that delivers value to all.”

 

Brian’s appointment follows the appointment of several industry leaders to SWORD’s executive and advisory teams, including Karin Ajmani, former President and Chief Strategy Officer at Progyny.

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.

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SWORD Health appoints Karin Ajmani to Board of Directors

SWORD Health, a digital musculoskeletal and pulmonary therapy provider, today announced the appointment of industry luminary Karin Ajmani to their Board of Directors.

“Karin is one of the most forward-thinking leaders in the employer-sponsored health space, and we’re thrilled to have her join our Board,” said Virgílio Bento, Founder and CEO, SWORD Health. “She will be an exceptional asset to our team.”

Karin is a healthcare entrepreneur who has committed her career to building companies that expand access to critical services, while greatly improving the member experience. She served as President and Chief Strategy Officer of Progyny, a national infertility health benefits company, from inception in 2015 through the company’s recent IPO. She developed Progyny’s employer benefits product and was responsible for sales and account management from pre-revenue to serving over 2 million lives and over 80 marquee clients. Prior to joining Progyny, Karin served as CEO of US Imaging, a radiology benefits management company, and CEO of CarePlus Health Plan, where she led the organization from inception through its sale to United Health Plan.

“I am thrilled to be joining Virgílio and the accomplished team he has recruited to modernize how musculoskeletal therapy is delivered. SWORD Health checks all of the boxes: improved outcomes, enhanced patient experience and cost savings,” said Karin.

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.

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SWORD Health’s digital MSK therapy now available to Concordia Plan Services members

Concordia Plan Services, a benefits provider for over 6,000 LCMS organizations worldwide, today announced that they will begin to offer their members access to SWORD Health’s digital therapy programs for musculoskeletal pain.

Musculoskeletal conditions, including chronic pain and acute conditions, affect 50% of Americans, and costs for treating them outpace cancer and mental health combined. Most conditions are treatable with a combination of exercise, behavioral coaching and education, but for many Americans, treatment is inaccessible and inconvenient. There are large disparities in both access to care and outcomes based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, and geography.

Concordia members will be able to access SWORD’s programs to ease their chronic pain conditions and recover from surgery at home, with always-on support and education from Doctors of Physical Therapy.

“We know that SWORD’s virtual MSK solution will have a big impact on our members’ lives. Many of our members live in rural communities with limited access to inpatient services, and we needed to give them more accessible and convenient options,” said Jennifer Lamons, Director, Health & Welfare at Concordia Plan Services. “Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it became even more urgent. We’re thrilled that they can now receive treatment that’s proven to work even better than in-person therapy.”

Concordia Plan Services will begin to offer SWORD’s digital therapy as a benefit to eligible members this month.

About Concordia Plan Services

Ministry is a life-long vocation for ministers of religion, as well as for many lay workers. By partnering with Concordia Plan Services, an ally who understands their unique needs, congregations, schools and other special ministry organizations are able to provide workers and their families with excellent comprehensive employee benefits including health, retirement, disability, survivor and specific resources for ministries.

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.

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SWORD Health announces key leadership appointments

SWORD Health, a digital musculoskeletal and pulmonary therapy provider, today announced the appointment of seven accomplished leaders to their executive team:

  • Erica Pham is named General Counsel. Erica is the former VP of Legal and Government Affairs at Clover Health.
  • Thach “Tak” Nguyen is named Chief Talent Officer. Tak formerly held leadership positions at Airbnb and Google.
  • Ana Mackay-Sim is named Chief Marketing Officer. Ana previously held leadership positions at WeWork and Nielsen.
  • Kyle Spackman is named VP, Sales. Kyle most recently led the Enterprise Sales organization at Artemis Health.
  • Ashley Ortega is named VP, Partnerships and Alliances. She has held leadership roles at Virta Health and Castlight Health and is a veteran of the US Navy.
  • Kris Davis is named VP, Customer Success. Kris has held leadership positions at Virta Health, Intent Media and Google.
  • Steve Collins is named VP, Enrollment Marketing. Steve comes to us from Rally Health where he was Senior Director of Marketing.

“We are proud that we’re building one of the best teams in digital health to steward us into our next phase of growth and make freedom from pain a reality for millions of Americans.” said Virgílio Bento, Founder and CEO of SWORD Health.

About SWORD Health

SWORD Health is a digital musculoskeletal (MSK) and pulmonary therapy provider 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.

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SWORD Health launches remote pulmonary rehabilitation to offer 300,000 COVID-19 survivors a sigh of relief

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.

Click here to learn more.

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

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Webinar Series: SWORD Sessions, our virtual booth experience

Register Now

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has not only caused the cancellation of healthcare conferences around the country, it’s forced us all to rethink how we can connect when social distancing is the norm.

Fortunately at SWORD we know that being remote doesn’t mean being disconnected, so we’re bringing you the conference booth experience through a webinar series called SWORD Sessions. During this three-part series, you’ll learn more about us and how we can help your business get back in control of musculoskeletal spend.

SWORD Sessions: Bringing our booth to you — virtually!

SWORD Session 1
The Basics: Learn about SWORD
Available on March 30

  • Learn about SWORD, how we’re different from other digital MSK solutions, and how our intervention can benefit your business.

SWORD Session 2
The Experience: Virtual Demo
Available on April 6

  • Experience the SWORD digital therapy product just as our members do with a live virtual demo.

SWORD Session 3
The Results: Real Outcomes
Available on April 9

  • Learn how SWORD members are getting real results for chronic and post-op pain.

 

Register Now

 


SessionBot: Find these sessions and more

SessionBot is a virtual conference assistant that brings together virtual sessions from employee benefits and digital health conferences, as well as standalone vendor sessions.

This tool makes it easier to find and sign up for events then add them directly to your calendar. SessionBot allows you to curate your own virtual conference with only the sessions you want to see, at your own pace.

If you have a suggestion for a virtual event to include, submit it here. We’re also welcome to other suggestions on how we can improve your experience.

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Introducing SessionBot: your Health and Benefits virtual conference assistant

Go to SessionBot

 

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak forced several Health and Benefits conferences to cancel and reshape as virtual events. But with so much content out there in so many places, finding interesting sessions from across the employee benefits and digital ecosystem is no easy task. We’ve made it a little easier with SessionBot.

SessionBot: See every virtual conference in one place

SessionBot brings together virtual sessions from employee benefits and digital health conferences such as the recently-cancelled Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference, National Business Group on Health Conference and the Conference Board’s Employee Healthcare Conference, and standalone vendor sessions.

Thanks to the SessionBot, you can more easily access the knowledge you need to make decisions, mitigating the negative impact of travel restrictions and event cancellations.

Make the most of your time at home

At SWORD, we know that being remote can have its benefits. Our Digital Therapist brings clinical-grade MSK therapy to members right in their homes, helping them overcome their pain faster and more effectively. And we hope our SessionBot will help you make the best use of your time during this period, too.

“Our clients were letting us know they were dropping out of several conferences, so we decided to take action” says Kyle Spackman, VP of Sales at SWORD Health. “These conferences are a critical part of a Benefits team’s decision-making process – they’re places to learn, to make connections and to inform critical decisions about 2021 strategy. It’s great that so many events are going virtual, but we’re also hearing this is an overwhelming time for Benefits leaders, as they’re trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in their own businesses, as well as do their strategic work. We want to make it a little easier for them to do their day job.”

Check the daily updates and curate your own conference

SessionBot will run for at least the Spring conference season, and we’re updating it daily. You can check the list, pick your favorite virtual sessions, and add a reminder to your calendar.

If you have a suggestion for a virtual event to include, submit it here! Other suggestions on how to improve your experience are more than welcome, too.

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2019: SWORD Health’s Year in Review

After a 2018 that saw us going from hope to reality, we went through 2019 knowing this was the year for growth.

From pushing our clinical validation forward to closing our series A investment round with prominent investors, this year has strengthened the groundwork for us to build the future of musculoskeletal care. And we harnessed every opportunity to deliver on our mission.

More power to the people

In 2019, we provided the best care to twice as many patients! This means more and more people were able to follow their physical therapy programs from the comfort of their homes, spending more than 580,000 minutes with our digital therapists while saving more than a million miles of travel back and forth from PT centers.

year-in-review-2019

A proven, better approach to MSK care

This year, we continued researching to prove we can provide patients with more effective physical therapy programs without them leaving their houses, facing traffic, and fitting appointments into their busy schedules.

Two new studies showed our Digital Therapist can achieve better functional outcomes than conventional face-to-face physical therapy, not only short-term but also in the long run. And more people have started to notice how much of a fantastic alternative this is.

Clinical validation at the core, always

Clinical validation is the hallmark of what we do. In the words of our CEO, Virgílio Bento, “it is the touchstone for every development we bring into our Digital Therapist.”

Appointing a Clinical Advisory Board was, therefore, the next step towards that end. This group of specialists, whose expertise ranges from orthopedics to cognitive psychology, is now assisting us in our long-term clinical strategy as well as supervising the clinical studies within the company.

New allies for our mission

We began the second quarter of the year closing our Series A funding round, where we raised $8M to fuel our efforts towards tackling musculoskeletal conditions, the number one driver of employers’ medical costs in the US.

This round was led by Khosla Ventures, a prominent venture capital firm focused on breakthrough technologies that can solve big problems. We couldn’t have asked for a better ally.

A digital health company to watch

In 2019, we earned our place as one of the most promising digital health companies in the world.

SWORD Health won the Employer Wellness & Prevention category at the UCSF Digital Health Awards, being recognized as the best digital health solution aimed at employers.

Along with this award, we were also ranked as one of the world’s 150 most promising digital health companies at the CB Insights “Future of Health” conference; featured in Wired’s 2019 list of the Hottest 100 Startups in Europe; and given an honorable mention in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2019.

A stellar team in the making

Only by having the most brilliant people working together can we achieve what we set our minds to — finding a smarter way to treat MSK. And we’ve been committed to finding the best.

This year, we went further and hired not just great talent, but also the people who will help us scale and nurture this talent into the most stellar team in the digital health space.

2020: what’s next?

Next year, we’ll keep the momentum going.

We’ll reach more people and change their lives for the better. We’ll continue our research and add new features to improve our Digital Therapist. We’ll strive to make musculoskeletal care even more engaging, effective, and accessible.

These are more than promises. They are commitments.

Here’s to a pain-free 2020!