Saul Marquez, Host at Outcomes Rocket Podcast

Using Digital Therapeutics for Back Pain

Tuesday September 17th 2019

Using Digital Therapeutics for Back Pain

The costs of back pain 

If you’re suffering from back pain, you know how painful and costly it can be. When your back aches, you’ll most likely miss work, visit the doctor, and your life temporarily stops. Lying down, getting up, sitting, walking, even laughing can be difficult. All the simple actions you are so used to doing become a challenge when your backaches. 

Nearly all of us have experienced back pain at some point in our lives. Back pain affects us all, regardless of our age and gender. 

Did you know that back pain, specifically lower back pain, is the number one cause of disability worldwide? This is according to 1The Global Burden of Low Back Pain study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 

Back pain is one of the most common sources of absenteeism, with half of all Americans admitting to experiencing back pain symptoms every year. 2Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost workdays every year. 

According to the American Chiropractic Association website, low back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in healthcare costs every year. And if you add in lost wages and productivity, the costs rise to over $100 billion annually. And yet functional outcomes have declined over the past twenty years.

So, is there a way to lower cost, improve efficacy, and deliver a more patient-centered approach to manage back pain? 

A digital therapeutic solution

Kiio has an answer. 

Kiio is a digital therapeutics company focused on changing the paradigm for musculoskeletal care. Evidence-based, personalized and consumer-centric, Kiio for Low Back Pain significantly reduces pain, opioid use, and medical costs, leading to improved quality of life for the individual and decreased costs for the health plan and employer.  Kiio’s app-based program helps people to get back to their regular activities by combining evidence-based medicine, artificial intelligence, and interactive digital coaching to deliver appropriate care on your mobile device.

How does Kiio help patients suffering from back pain?

In our most recent podcast interview with Lydia Zeller, Vice President of Product Strategy at Kiio, she explained. “Kiio provides 24/7 immediate access to an individualized care program. It’s convenient and requires nothing other than your personal smart device. It’s proven effective. Kiio will integrate with traditional care to get the right level of care to the person at the right time.”

Unnecessary aggressive diagnostics and treatments for back pain result in billions of wasted dollars a year in the U.S.  Kiio’s platform helps put an end to this medical waste and resulting in poor outcomes.  

How exactly does it work? Lydia further explained, “The patient experience begins with an online computer-adaptive screening where we ask a short series of questions. And we’re looking at four main things: Medical risk, behavioral health risk, type of back pain, and establishing baselines on pain, function, and work impact. This screening results in an immediate multi-dimensional risk profile that enables us to deliver appropriate, individualized care.”  

Appropriately treating back pain at the individual level

Having the ability to treat appropriately matters in a big way.  If Kiio’s screening finds that the patient is treatable through exercises vs. an unnecessary specialist visit, Kiio guides the patient through a progressive series of exercises shown to improve the patient’s specific type of back pain. “It’s very important to treat different types of back pain differently with targeted exercises,” explained Lydia. “We also deliver education and support, both digitally and through professional care managers.”

If the case is not appropriate for Kiio, then patient care is escalated.  “But right at the end of the screening, you either get the link to download your digital care program or, if you are in the small subset of individuals for whom we find a medical red flag or a high behavioral health risk, you get an immediate referral to appropriate in-network care.“

Kiio does not just benefit patients. It also provides a strong return on investment to its health plan and employer partners.  

Lydia said, “Kiio is achieving great clinical results for our participants and outstanding financial results for our health plan and employer partners. Our participants enjoy significant pain reduction and improvement in function, as well as personal empowerment and reduction in the use of opioids and aggressive treatments.  Our partners achieve significant reductions in the cost of care, and gain meaningful population health data.“

That’s great news. With Kiio’s help, back pain treatment is now more manageable, more affordable, and more patient-centric. 

Check out Kiio’s solution and success stories here.

Listen to our podcast interview with Lydia Zeller, VP of Product Strategy at Kiio here.






Written By

Saul Marquez

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