Kaia Health closes $26 million Series B financing round

Our plan to build out our digital therapy platform for chronic diseases.

4 min read
A man stretching on his living room floor, following a tablet routine.

Kaia Health, New York & Munich, June 18, 2020

Today we have closed a $26 million Series B funding round, which brings the total funds raised to an incredible $50 million. Now is a good time to reflect on where we started and on where we want to go next.

The humble beginnings of Kaia Health

The beginning of Kaia is rooted in my frustrating experience as a chronic pain patient. After trying many unsuccessful treatments for 2 years, I finally found the therapy that has the highest clinical evidence in treating chronic conditions: multimodal therapy. After attending a 4-week multimodal therapy program at a dedicated pain center and integrating the pain coping techniques into my daily life, I finally found relief. The pain had vanished from my everyday life.

That’s when I wondered: “Why isn’t everyone with back pain doing this?” My co-founder Manuel Thurner and I were surprised by how few chronic pain patients have access to the gold-standard multimodal therapy recommended by national chronic pain treatment guidelines: a staggeringly low 2%. We couldn’t believe that 98% of chronic pain patients were being treated with mostly ineffective treatments. This was the moment when we decided to launch a company with the mission of giving everybody – 100% of patients – access to this therapy.

How far we have come

Fast forward 4 years, and Kaia Health is now the largest chronic disease management platform in the industry, with more than 400,000 users of our platform so far. If you compare this with the number of patients a chronic pain center treats per year (around 300), we’ve come a long way toward making our mission a reality and giving patients access to the gold standard in chronic disease therapy.

At Kaia, we are especially excited about how technology can increase the quality of care for patients. Technology-enabled, digitally delivered therapy can give all patients – the 100% – access to best-in-class care. We focus on using only the smartphone camera (with no additional wearables or other sensors that need to be charged or attached to users’ bodies) to give our users real-time feedback on how well they’re doing physical exercises. The experience is like having a physical therapist or a personal coach at your side and can be rolled out to thousands of patients simultaneously.

Our computer-vision model locks onto 23 key points to track body movements accurately and correct movements and exercises. See below a video that compares our motion-tracking approach with the traditional sensor-based approach. To come close to our built-in, AI-powered, motion-tracking capability, users of other digital-therapy products would need to attach more than a dozen wearables to their bodies.

Another feature of our mobile computer-vision technology is biomarkers, which can assess a user’s range of motion, balance, and stability. We recently launched two biomarkers, the functional ability test for chronic pain patients and the sit-to-stand test to measure functional capacity among COPD patients. In conventional treatment, the patient typically is only able to do these tests when physically visiting the physician’s office. With Kaia, patients can do the test anytime and every day, thereby continuously measuring therapy progress and adapting the therapy program to the collected data.

Two months ago we commercially launched our therapy for COPD. During the COVID crisis, a lot of COPD patients had to stop their therapies at pulmonary rehabilitation centers, and we were happy to help these patients continue their therapies from home. A recently published study showed that COPD puts more patients at risk of COVID-19 mortality than any other comorbidity.

Soon we will launch our third digital therapeutic – for knee and hip osteoarthritis – to add to our chronic disease therapy platform, which we have been developing with our clinical partners over the last few years.

Kaia Health logo in white and blue next to smartphones showing the digital experience.

On the commercial side, we are partnering with major payers and health plans in the US and Europe to bring our therapies to patients at no added cost. It is amazing how many innovative health plans added digital therapies during the COVID lockdown. The lockdown measures pushed digital therapeutics from the early-adoption phase to mass-market phase, as many traditional therapies were no longer accessible. Digital therapeutics are now getting recognized as medical solutions that significantly enhance the standard of care by bringing additional value to patients, providers, and payers.

What we plan to do with the funds

We have built Kaia Health from the very beginning as a multi-disease platform company, allowing us to launch many therapies for major (chronic) diseases quickly. We will continue to release therapies for those diseases for which the multimodal approach has the highest clinical evidence. Of course, launching new therapies also requires us to expand our product development and tech team, so we are searching for more great talent at the moment. While launching new therapies, we also plan to double down on our rigorous clinical approach.

With all the great people that work at Kaia, we are confident that we can serve millions of patients in the future to manage or reverse their chronic diseases. It is exciting to be able to have the funds to carry our mission forward and revolutionize the healthcare system.

Manuel & Konstantin

Further Reading