Sweden & United States
Joint Academy prevents and treats joint pain through short, daily exercise routines. Users receive two exercises each day that improve mobility and decrease discomfort.
Chronic joint pain is a common issue that can have a serious impact on how someone lives day-to-day. It can make it difficult to do everyday activities such as walking, standing up, or reaching for something. It’s a type of pain that lasts for more than three months. Depending on the exact cause, back and joint pain are often preventable and treatable with physical therapy. However, working with a physical therapist to learn about prevention and rehabilitation can be expensive and time-consuming. The result is people suffering from avoidable discomfort and potentially needing to be considered for surgery.
Accessibility to movement therapy can help keep people mobile as they get older, prevent and correct postural imbalances, reduce discomfort, and decrease the likelihood more invasive treatments will be necessary down the road. By making physical therapy available digitally, people are able to get daily assistance without the commute and price tag of seeing a physical therapist in person.
Joint Academy connects patients with physical therapists through the app where they create a personalised program based on their needs. With the fast rise of telemedicine adoption thanks to the pandemic, startups like Hinge have made appointments available online. Where Joint Academy differs is by providing daily exercise guidance which makes it easy to build a habit and adhere to the program long-term. Daily exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours; in fact, regular sustained exercise therapy leads to significant results in the longer term.
After being assessed by a physical therapist, Joint Academy users receive one or two exercises sent to their phone each day. It takes roughly 5-10 minutes of their time, so it’s easier to fit into schedules. The app reminds the user to complete their daily tasks until the tasks are checked off. Regular communication with the therapist will ensure the user is getting the most benefit out of the program and the therapist will make changes as needed. Users also have the option of joining a group related to their symptoms which can provide support, a space to share experiences, and where they can learn more. Joint Academy works with several health insurance companies in the US; coverage can be confirmed through the mobile app.
“Direct-to-consumer healthcare is not new, people have for many years visited pharmacies for example, and bought treatments directly over the counter. With the internet this has evolved with more than simply people buying contact lens with the specific prescription online. More recently, more telehealth services and at-home diagnostic equipment is available easily covering a range of health needs. We often talk about how they can be more convenient, reduce costs for patients and improve access. While the benefits are clear, a cautious approach can be helpful to ensure the service is effective, safe, tested and regulated if needed.” – Dr Vinay Shankar