Virtual physical therapy platform Kaia Health picks up $75 million

Steven Loeb · April 28, 2021 · Short URL:

The company saw its book of business grow 600% over the last year thanks to the pandemic

Musculoskeletal problems are a bigger problem than you might think, as half of all American adults are affected by an MSK condition. Not only is that an untenable amount of people, it's also expensive, since MSK conditions affect 25% of the U.S. workforce, and account for 16% of overall medical spend. Ultimately, that's $120 billion in annual costs to employers.

That's the problem Kaia Health is solving. The company, which treats these conditions through its virtual solution, creating treatments for a range of disorders, including back pain and COPD, announced on Wednesday that it raised $75 million in Series C funding.

The round was led by an unnamed leading growth equity fund, along with existing investors, including Optum Ventures, Eurazeo, 3VC, Balderton Capital, Heartcore Capital, Symphony Ventures (the investment vehicle of four time Major winner Rory McIlroy) and A Round Capital. This brings its total funding raised to $125 million.

Kaia uses machine learning to give patients personalized care that they can use on their own devices, using virtual physical therapy to provide real-time exercise feedback. Earlier this year, the company announced two new products: Premium Partners and Gateway.

With Premium Partners, Kaia, which integrates with leading medical providers, and provides users with Coaches and medical professionals when it is deemed beneficial, will now be giving its partners a detailed treatment history of each patient, including insights from Motion Coach, disease progression, exercise level information, and medical surveys. Premium Partners also have access to evaluated general and specialty care solutions, such as digital interventions, disease management programs, PT, telemedicine, care navigation, and expert medical opinion services.

Gateway, meanwhile, is a new screening process, using a clinical triage algorithm that analyzes various clinical dimensions to identify patients who may be at risk of needing more invasive or intense treatment. Those with medical issues, or those who are likely to have surgery, will be directed to a Kaia Health medical provider for further consultation.

"Kaia Gateway includes a more sophisticated way of triage to direct those users directly to the app who should go there first and direct other users to the case review team that Kaia has in house. This review team can then escalate cases to external partners which we call ‘premium partners’. Previously, Kaia only offered a limited triage and health coaches," Konstantin Mehl, Founder and CEO of Kaia Health, explained. 

The company saw its book of business grew 600% over the last year as the pandemic accelerated demand for a digital MSK solution. It now covers 60 million lives and has 450,000 users worldwide. The company plans to use the new funding will grow its commercial team to meet that demand; right now it has 120 employees and plans to have around 200 by the end of 2021.

"Pre-Covid, around 20% of health plans were interested in offering digital therapy pathways to their members. Now it’s 100%, due to the necessity to offer digital treatments, while offline medical treatments for chronic diseases are considered elective treatments and have been much harder to access during the pandemic. To meet this increased demand, we have to expand our commercial team much faster," said Mehl.

It will also be used to accelerate product and partnership development to help more Americans access Kaia Health, specifically looking at how to optimize the treatment path more, so that patients always receive best care. This also includes integrating with external medical providers to offer patients what he calls "the best of both worlds," meaning both online and offline medicine.

Finally, the funds will be invested in extending the company's offering within Europe and increasing access to Kaia Health by making its MSK and COPD solutions available through national reimbursement systems. The company is currently active in Germany, as there is a new reimbursement law allowing a nationwide coverage under a general reimbursement code.

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