2 Clinical Studies Demonstrate that Sword Health Improves Outcomes and Advances Health Equity

Why Sword
March 2, 2023
Sword Health Improves Outcomes and Advances Health Equity for Diverse and Rural Patients

Sword Health, the world’s fastest growing provider of digital care solutions for muscle, joint and pelvic pain, today announced two new studies that are the first to demonstrate that digital care programs can reduce pain and increase access to treatment for historically underserved patient populations, helping to advance health equity for all.

Muscle and joint pain disproportionately affect people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds through higher disease burden. Historically underserved patients report greater rates of chronic pain, and less access to care, often due to lack of services in their communities. Access to healthcare is also a challenge for people living in rural areas, with fewer opportunities for in-person physical therapy and limited access to public transportation.

“We are encouraged by these two new studies which demonstrate that Sword Health improves clinical outcomes for all patients in muscle and joint pain, regardless of their race or zip code. We remain committed to removing barriers to access high-quality healthcare and serving underserved communities with our digital care solutions.” —Dr. Vijay Yanamadala, Chief Medical Officer, Sword Health

Clinical studies conclusions

Study #1 - Racial and Ethnic Differences in Outcomes

In the first study, "Racial and Ethnic Differences in Outcomes of a 12-Week Digital Rehabilitation Program for Musculoskeletal Pain: Prospective Longitudinal Cohort Study" published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, patients were organized by self-reported racial and ethnic groups. Their engagement and outcomes were measured after 12 weeks, compared to baseline.

6,949 patients completed the program, representative of the U.S. population: 65.5% non-Hispanic White; 10.8% Black; 9.7% Asian; 9.2% Hispanic; and 4.8% Other. All groups reported high engagement and satisfaction, with Black and Hispanic backgrounds ranking highest in satisfaction.

At the beginning, individuals with Black and Hispanic backgrounds reported the highest levels of pain and willingness to undergo surgery, as well as lower work productivity and higher impact on daily activities. After 12 weeks with the program, all racial and ethnic groups showed significant improvements across all outcomes, with groups with Black and Hispanic backgrounds reporting the greatest improvements in clinical outcomes.

Study #2 - Engagement in Rural and Urban Areas

In the second study, entitled "Engagement and utilization of a complete remote digital care program for musculoskeletal pain management in urban and rural areas across the United States: Longitudinal Cohort Study" and published last month in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR mHealth and uHealth), researchers assessed the impact of urban versus rural residence on patient engagement and clinical outcomes with Sword Health.

Both rural and urban individuals presented high rates of satisfaction and engagement as well as improvements in pain reduction, mental health and work productivity. Notably, individuals from rural areas were more likely to complete the program.

Four in 10 Americans identify as non-white and one in five live in a rural area. That translates to over 100 millions of people who suffer from less access to high-quality care. While these two studies underscore that stark reality, they also offer hope. We can close the health equity gap in this country by enabling patients access to digital care programs like Sword.” — Dr. Ashley Bass, licensed physical therapist and Health Equity and Inclusion Specialist at Sword Health

Sword Health is the most clinically rigorous digital care provider for muscle and joint pain, through which 100 percent of clinical care is provided by a Doctor of Physical Therapy. The company also ensures that all its providers are trained in diversity, equity and inclusion, and licensed to practice in all 50 states.

For more information about Sword Health’s programs, visit swordhealth.com. For more information on the studies, visit the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Learn how Sword Health is building a future for Health Equity.

About Sword Health

Sword Health, the world’s fastest growing digital musculoskeletal (MSK) company, believes in the power of people to recover at home, without resorting to imaging, surgeries or opioids. As the first digital solution to pair its members with a licensed physical therapist and the Digital Therapist, Sword delivers a clinically-proven, personalized treatment plan that is easier, more effective and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care. Now, Sword has expanded into new categories, as part of its mission to free two billion people from pain. Earlier this year it launched Bloom, the first digital pelvic health therapy solution designed to treat the 1 in 4 women who suffer from a pelvic health condition. As of November 2022, Sword is now pioneering a new category of movement health, which combines the focused approach of physical therapy with the whole body appeal of fitness. Every Sword solution leverages technology and human expertise to deliver better engagement and outcomes than traditional healthcare methods. 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, and beyond, accessible to everyone.

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