January 1, 2018

How Hinge Health is Using Digital Care Programs to Reduce Costly Musculoskeletal Treatments

Hinge Health is a digital healthcare startup pioneering digital care programs for chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as back and joint pain. With the belief that drugs and surgery often do more harm than good for patients, Hinge Health’s best-practice care is delivered through a convenient and engaging digital program, helping patients overcome chronic MSK pain without drugs or surgery.

The market-leading technology creates a delightful participant experience by combining sensor-guided exercise therapy with unlimited personal coaching and a personalized education curriculum. Hinge Health has liberated thousands from chronic pain, addictive painkillers and unnecessary surgeries, allowing them to get back to the things they love.

Based on randomized clinical trials, our employers have seen 60%+ fewer surgeries and patient reported outcomes of 50%+ reduction in pain and depression. While most people find it difficult to keep a consistent routine of physical therapy, Hinge Health participants complete an average of 30-40 exercise therapy sessions over the 12 week program.

We sat down with Daniel Perez, Co-Founder and CEO of Hinge Health, to understand what makes the business tick. With a personal history of MSK injuries including several leg surgeries, Dan has long been passionate about improving outcomes for musculoskeletal disorders.

Originally from Miami, Dan pursued a PhD in the medical sciences at the University of Oxford, founding the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable and OneStart, the world’s largest healthcare accelerator program.

Daniel Perez, CEO and Co-founder of Hinge Health

Tell us about Hinge Health’s mission.

Hinge Health is solving the problem of chronic MSK conditions such as low back pain, knee arthritis, and hip arthritis. Our aim is to help patients avoid surgery and reduce pain so they can get back to living their lives and doing the things they love– such as going walks with their spouses, playing with their kids, and going back to work. Patients are frustrated by traditional MSK care, and we’re seeking to change that through our programs.

Why did you start Hinge Health?

We founded Hinge Health in 2014 because we recognized that the state of MSK care was fantastically fractured. Patients have a terrible experience where they’re trying to receive treatment for back or joint pain, and can’t get the results they’re looking for. So many Americans were suffer from MSK pain, often turning to costly surgeries that ultimately do more harm than good.

Clinical studies show that two-thirds of back and joint surgeries are avoidable with consistent exercise therapy and lifestyle changes. Additionally, opioids are often over-prescribed for MSK pain, but we know these are not a long term solution. We wanted to offer a better option to patients.

How prevalent are musculoskeletal conditions today?

Over 100M Americans are affected with an MSK condition per year, and over 80% aren’t getting the care that our medical textbooks recommend. We’ve taken those textbook recommendations, packaged them up digitally, and are delivering them at scale so that everyone who is suffering from chronic MSK conditions can get the appropriate care that they deserve.

How are employers and health plans reacting to your offerings?

We’ve had an incredible reception from employers, healthcare providers, and ACOs in regards to Hinge Health. At the moment, there’s a very fractured delivery system for getting MSK care to members. Hinge Health is able to put it all together into one program where we create a delightful member experience. Best of all, employers love that we stand by our program outcomes and guarantee at least a 1:1 ROI.

What about the patients themselves? How are they benefiting?

We feel incredible whenever we hear from our members who are using our programs. People don’t say “thank you for reducing my back pain.” Instead, they say “Thank you for helping me get back to the things I love. For the first time in years, I can throw a football around with my son.” That’s what we’re able to do with Hinge Health.

Can you share some information about your partnership with Castlight?

Castlight stood out to us because of the quality of their services and the professionalism of their teams. Up and down the company, we felt that we were connecting with the best possible team. Castlight has connected us to employers who are looking for solutions like the one we provide.

On top of that, Castlight has helped us better understand the employers we serve because Castlight really understands their customers and what they’re trying to achieve in their benefit design. When we talk with Castlight, we feel that they are a complete extension of their customers as they hold those they serve in such high esteem.

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