SWORD’s Digital Therapist recovers patients faster and better than traditional physical therapy
Mar 8, 2019 • 2 min read
Over the past years, our entire team has been working relentlessly to get to the findings we are now very proud to share with you: patients recovering with our Digital Therapist at home under remote supervision of our clinical teams recover faster and better than patients resorting to conventional physical therapy. Not only that, the benefits of our combined human+machine physical therapy solution are longer lasting than those presented in traditional physical therapy.
Forbes explained the motivation behind our research very sagely:
An AI physical therapist guides patients through a number of exercises, using the trackers to give feedback in real time (…). The exercises are set by a remote team of human clinicians, who’ll check in periodically, and they’re covered by a number of insurance companies worldwide. (…) But pretty much everyone is doing something “AI” these days, so the real test of its effectiveness is the patient data. It’s looking good.
The fact is, when it comes to the Digital Therapist, clinical validation is not a mere formality. That is why our teams are continuously assessing its effectiveness and why we always have ongoing studies to objectively discern what benefits we are bringing to patients.
The Digital Therapist is faster and overall more effective
In the first study, published in Nature Scientific Reports journal, we compared two groups of patients that had undergone knee surgery during their eight-week recovery. The first group used the Digital Therapist to perform physical therapy at home, and the second group used conventional physical therapy. Results showed the group using SWORD’s Digital Therapist improved twice as much than the conventional physical therapy group in the test that objectively measured their recovery (Timed Up and Go test). The same results surfaced for the subjective, patient-reported quality of life assessment regarding the existence of symptoms or pain and the ability to perform activities of daily living.
SWORD’s Digital Therapist shows longer lasting benefits
The second study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the leading Health Informatics journal, and aimed at proving the Digital Therapist’s medium and long-term superiority. The article demonstrates that the benefits shown in the group using SWORD’s Digital Therapist were maintained three and six months after surgery, without additional treatment beyond the 8-week program.
The results apply to objective performance measures and also to subjective scales of pain, quality of life and ability to perform daily activities. This article proves that the Digital Therapist is a reliable long-term solution since its benefits do not fade over time.
The future of physical therapy
“These findings prove SWORD Health’s innovative approach is the future of physical therapy,” said our CEO, Virgílio Bento. “We are not just dramatically reducing costs for physical therapy. We are proving to be a better, faster, and tremendously more convenient approach to physical therapy that enables patients to recover at home.” Bento also points out that “Demand for physical therapy is rising around the world yet, for the vast majority of people, the therapy they need, in terms of quality and intensity, is out of reach.”
Our Chief Medical Officer, Fernando Correia, is “very pleased to finally prove that patients can access effective treatment without leaving their own houses, with sustained benefits over time. Ours is a life-changing approach to physical therapy, and we are looking forward to making it accessible to more and more patients all over the world.”