Kaia Health, a digital therapeutics upstart in Germany, announced that it has raised a $10 million in a Series A financing round led by Balderton Capital. The company had already gathered $4 million in a seed round back in June 2016.
Kaia’s product is a pair of mobile applications that offer multimodal, “mind-body therapy” for musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders, namely, back pain and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The app comprises of guided physical exercises, psychological techniques and on tap medical education. It acts as an autonomous exercise coach uses computer vision technology to visually monitor the user as they workout (via smartphone cameras), keep track of repetitions, and also provide vocal feedback – to correct posture and motion.
The idea behind Kaia’s software-based healthcare platform is to deliver an alternative to painkillers, using mobile technology, says the company. Kaia Health was founded in 2015 with intent to serve chronic pain patients with best therapies that they otherwise could not afford. “This therapy is so expensive that only 2% of the patients get access to it and the [rest] are treated with treatments against acute pain, like painkillers and surgery… This is why there’s this crazy cost explosion when you look at the costs in the healthcare systems,” says co-founder and CEO Konstantin Mehl.
According to him, digital therapeutics can provide greater support than a real pain care center, because, an app coach offers an “opportunity to control yourself all the time, 24/7, which is really what chronic pain patients need,” he said. Kaia’s approach, Mehl says, addresses “the root causes of chronic pain”, and however, he concedes that Kaia cannot claim that digital therapy will cure “everybody.”
Subscription plans for the app start at $24 for three months after a seven-day trial.