Omada’s Digital Care Platform Adds Physical Therapy at a Critical Time

Today we proudly announced the acquisition of Physera, adding digital musculoskeletal care delivered by licensed physical therapists, to Omada’s portfolio of offerings. Serious times require serious, clinical-grade solutions. It has never been more important to increase access to effective physical therapy through virtual delivery. 

As physical therapy offices across the country are closed for services, and elective knee and back surgeries are being cancelled, patients with chronic knee and back pain are stuck at home with few options for their pain. Acute conditions such as sprains and strains are also on the rise as people suffer injuries at home and may miss out on earlier access to PT and avoid care down the line. We are thrilled to build on our tradition of closing gaps in care with evidence-based solutions during a critical time in history.

For nearly a decade, Omada Health has filled gaps in care by delivering a digital care experience that leverages clinical-grade care. With the addition of physical therapy this week, we now have a complete suite of digital, evidence-based services, staffed by a qualified care team and enhanced with technology. We started in diabetes prevention, expanded into diabetes and hypertension self-management, and last year added mental health. As we consider an expansion into a new clinical area, our criteria include the following:

  • Is the condition a place of need for our customers and current patients?  
  • Are there evidence-based treatments for the condition that depend on sustainable changes in patient behavior that would be enhanced by a continuous, accessible intervention?
  • Do these treatments struggle to scale in traditional care and can be amplified and enhanced by a digital care platform? 
  • Does the treatment have a measurable clinical outcome that is directly linked to long-term health benefit and a reduction in medical costs?

When the answer is “yes”, we then look for the best way to add the treatment to our digital care platform. 

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are the leading causes of disability worldwide, with low back pain topping the list of concerns.  MSK care routinely lands in the top tier of concerns for our partner employers and health plans. These conditions are prevalent across the age spectrum. They also frequently overlap for those dealing with diabetes, and are linked with increased depression.  Physical therapy is a difficult service to access in normal times - for patients with chronic disease and at elevated risk, the current pandemic has pushed it even farther out of reach.

Physera’s approach to delivering musculoskeletal care makes the company a fantastic match for Omada.  Like Omada, Physera applies evidence-based, proven clinical guidelines for the management of musculoskeletal conditions. They staff their program with licensed and credentialed physical therapists for a clinical intervention that combines the human element with the power of technology.  Physera contracts and bills like a provider, just like us, which makes a huge difference with our health plan channel partners.  Omada patients and customers can feel comfortable knowing the physical therapy and MSK services they receive have demonstrated positive health impacts, and provide an approach in line with the other Omada programs they receive. 

And because MSK conditions are so impacted by lifestyle, stress, and mental health - the Omada digital care platform is a great complement to Physera.  The best treatment for many MSK conditions is physical therapy focused on therapeutic exercise and patient education, paired with psychosocial support and optimal nutrition.  Evidence-based treatment for musculoskeletal conditions is supposed to be multidisciplinary, with careful consideration of the biomechanics and psychosocial components of pain.  Surgery is often a last resort, especially for chronic pain.  Joining Omada’s expertise in sustainable behavior change with a digital MSK offering brings the best of all worlds for treatment of acute and chronic pain due to musculoskeletal conditions.  

With the addition of physical therapy, Omada’s digital care portfolio is now the most comprehensive approach to whole-person care anywhere in digital healthcare. As our clinical, product, and strategy teams work together to chart the future of true digital care, we believe that the addition of these capabilities will make a huge difference in patient’s lives.  We are building a digital care provider platform that can meet the needs of today’s crucial moment in history, and provide true value on the other side of the pandemic. Today’s announcement is a bold step in that direction.