Sword Health, a start-up operating in Portugal that has developed a digital physiotherapy solution to allow patients to be remotely treated at home, has raised $ 4.6 million in seed funding. Green Innovations, Vesalius Biocapital III and other unidentified investors in the United States and Europe are at the origin of this round.
The company says it will use the new capital, which adds to a previous grant of $ 1.2 million from the European Commission, to accelerate the development of new digital therapies and boost growth World.
Using what it describes as a combination of "high-precision motion tracking sensors" and the latest advancements in AI, the Sword Health solution aims to make physiotherapy infinitely more scalable, recognizing that There is a worldwide shortage of physiotherapists Its flagship product "Sword Phoenix" offers patients interactive physical rehabilitation exercises in the comfort of their own home, supervised by remote physiotherapists.
"Twenty years ago, my brother had a car accident, so what I realized then (and it's still true now), is that he There is a huge gap between the demand for physical therapy and our ability, as a developed society, to deliver this therapy, "says Virgilio Bento, co-founder of Sword Health, ME
"The problem is that the physical rehabilitation industry has not changed in the last 50 years." We are still very dependent on the patient-therapist interaction in the head-to-head head, which is the gold standard, but it's not an evolutionary model and is actually very expensive for patients and health care providers. "
To address this, Bento and the Sword team began working on what he calls a "digital physiotherapist" concept. The idea is that by using motion detectors attached to the appropriate places of the patient's body, combined with an AI-driven user interface that can take these motion data and give an instant feedback, a part of what a physiotherapist can be augmented by machines.
"With Sword Phoenix, clinical teams extend their therapeutic footprint to every patient's home, expand their reach and are able to spend more time delivering human contact," he says.
To date, Bento says that Sword works with insurance companies, national health services, health maintenance organizations and suppliers in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United States. in Norway.
"These clients are able to provide high quality physiotherapy services directly to the patient's home and reduce operational costs at the same time, an achievement that is only possible in health care through # 39; s informed use of analysis and technology.
In terms of competitors, Bento argues that the majority of health technology companies focus on developing technologies that enhance the patient-patient therapist interaction (eg, Tyromotion, Hocoma). "This gradual improvement is not the solution as it does not entail a paradigm shift," he says.
That being said, Bento conceded that there are other startups that are trying to create a digital therapist. I have studied in detail Atomico-backed Hinge Health, which has developed a digital solution for musculoskeletal disorders (MSK).