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First digital therapeutics service for osteoarthritis – Swedish breakthrough idea

News   •   May 12, 2016 08:59 UTC

This week Arthro Therapeutics launches Joint Academy, its flagship product, after 1.5 years of development. Joint Academy is a cutting-edge, web-based behavioral intervention program for people with osteoarthritis. The program is backed by clinical studies and has been successfully tested by 500 patients. Leading professors and physiotherapists from Lund University stand behind the science and treatment protocol. The product is based on extensive research and collaboration in Sweden, resulting in the world's largest osteoarthritis database.

Both public health and private organizations in Sweden have shown great interest in the service and are already reimbursing the program.

This is the first online evidence-based treatment program that can diagnose patients with osteoarthritis as well as treating the chronic condition.

  • We are unique in having peer-reviewed published papers backing up our claims, as well as clinical evidence from 60 000 patients. We have proved that our web-based program delivers health outcomes on a par with traditional face-to-face treatments while being more cost-efficient and scalable, with the potential to commoditize the treatment globally. – Jakob Dahlberg, CEO & Co-founder

The product development and testing has been ongoing since 2014 with an engineering and science team of 9 persons. Arthro Therapeutics has raised $1m in seed funding from Lund University and prolific angels such as Hampus Jakobsson, Sophia Bendz and Tim Jackson.

Joint Academy is CE certified as a Class I medical technology product and is HIPAA compliant.

Osteoarthritis is the world’s most common joint disease. It damages the joint and results in pain, impaired function and quality of life and is the most common cause of pain and reduced function in the elderly. It affects one in five men and one in three women above 45 years of age — 35 million persons in America alone. Osteoarthritis costs the US healthcare system $189bn annually, mostly from total joint replacements and medication.

Behind the research and clinical work stand Leif Dahlberg, Professor of Orthopaedics, and Carina Thorstensson, Associate Professor of Physiotherapy. They are also co-founders of Arthro Therapeutics.

Arthro Therapeutics is the first Scandinavian start-up to be accepted into the StartUp Health accelerator in New York.

International expansion plans have been initiated, with a first batch of test users in the US and the larger countries in Europe.

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