A London-based digital health start-up has secured $US8 million to further its technological development in tackling musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries.
Hinge Health builds hardware and software specifically to address MSK injures.
Its recent Series A investment was led by international venture capital firm Atomico, a $US765 million technology fund based in London.
The two-year-old start-up, which is also based in San Francisco, said it will use the latest funding round to expand its existing product offering, covering both chronic lower back and knee pain, to encompass new treatment programs for hip, shoulder and neck pain.
MSK disorders, such as back and shoulder pain, are one of the top medical expenditures for employers, and Hinge Health promises to drive those costs down by half, through its “evidence-based digital care pathways” that harness wearables, software, exercise, and behavioural therapy.
In the UK, an estimated 8.8 million working days were lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) in the labour force, according to a 2016 WRMSD survey.
In the US, more than 50% of its workforce reports a MSK disorder every year.
Co-founder and chief executive of the start-up, Daniel Perez, said that most chronic conditions have clear clinical guidelines underpinned by a solid evidence base. “However, these guidelines are often not followed because it is too onerous for the patient and doctor. Lower back pain and knee arthritis are prime examples, where non-surgical guidelines are not followed.”
“Our vision to improve the scale, experience and ultimately outcomes for patients by using technology to better deliver evidence-based care, with MSK as our first beachhead.”
It will use the funding towards offering a range of tech-enabled, non-invasive treatments to employers and employees across the globe.
Its health kit contains two Hinge bands with embedded motion sensors, a tablet (and stand) with pre-installed Hinge Health software, a carry case, and a charging unit.
Partner at Atomico, Carolina Brochado said some of the biggest innovations in how people live over the next decade will happen in healthcare.
“[Atomico] believe this will be driven by tech-enabled solutions that bring consistent high quality care to even the most remote places, and especially to those who might not have had access to it before.”
“Hinge Health is a powerful example of this, showing strong commercial traction and proven clinical outcomes helping those with MSK feel better, faster and avoid costly MRIs and surgery.”
The funding comes one year after Hinge Health closed a $US1.3 million seed round in June 2016, bringing the total amount raised by the growing company to just over $US10 million.
With the fresh round of funding the company will focus on growing its sales, product and engineering teams in London and San Francisco, and continue to expand its commercial footprint within the US.