The new round was led by Optum Ventures.

Kaia Health lands $8M to focus on treating musculoskeletal disorders

By Laura Lovett
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This morning digital physical therapy company Kaia Health announced an $8 million funding round led by United Health’s venture arm Optum Ventures. This comes seven months after the company announced that it scored $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Balderton Capital. 

WHAT THEY DO

Kaia Health got its start with a digital physical therapy platform for back pain, which guides users through exercises at home. The company pitches the technology as an alternative to more pain killers. It is still focused on treating musculoskeletal disorders. However, it has quickly expanded to include everything from exercise and wellness tools to programs aimed at treating COPD symptoms. Kaia employs 2D motion tracking technology and AI to create home-based, clinically-validated exercise plans for users. 

The startup is looking to the Asia Pac market. In February it announced a feasibility study to examine the impact of its digital  therapeutic treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) on Japan’s ageing population. This comes after a German pilot study demonstrated a successful decrease of symptoms. 

WHAT IT’S FOR 

The company said the new money will be put towards developing and scaling the technology

“The investment from Optum Ventures will allow us to explore integration opportunities throughout the complete patient treatment journey,” Konstantin Mehl, Founder and CEO of Kaia Health, said in a statement. “We are proud to partner with Optum Ventures, a company at the forefront of improving health care.”

MARKET SNAP SHOT

Kaia isn’t the only players in the digital physical therapy space. Hinge Health, maker of a digital health platform for musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, landed a cool $26 million a year ago, bringing the company’s total funding to $36 million.

Additionally, last September Kiio released data from its one-year pilot, suggesting that patients who used the platform decreased their medical spending, made fewer visits to a provider, and filled fewer opioid prescriptions compared to those who received it but didn’t use it. 

In terms of investor trends, Optum Ventures has been very active in the digital health space. In the past it has invested in Aprevita, Buoy Health, Mindstrong and SHYFT Analytics. 

ON THE RECORD 

“Kaia Health has taken a technology-led approach to create a digital therapeutic that will make treatment more accessible to patients who need it,” Heather Roxborough, partner at Optum Ventures, said in a statement. “We believe Kaia Health’s digital therapeutic solutions will benefit those suffering from MSK disorders and are excited about its application in other indications.”