Study Compares Kaia Health Motion Coach™ to Human Physical Therapists

Results validate that Kaia Health’s Motion Coach™ has the ability to consistently match the feedback provided by physiotherapists across six different exercises.

3 min read

Motion Coachᵀᴹ provides consistent and accurate exercise feedback

This peer-reviewed, prospective cohort study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) is the first to compare computer vision technology for digital musculoskeletal (MSK) therapy to human physical therapists (PT).

  • Findings demonstrate the ability of Kaia Health’s computer vision technology – also known as Motion Coachᵀᴹ – to provide consistent and accurate exercise feedback to all users without the need for wearable sensors or telehealth physical therapy (telePT).
  • Employers, health plans, and their members can benefit from Motion Coachᵀᴹ with higher engagement and improved outcomes.
  • Results validate Kaia’s digital-first support as a convenient, scalable, and less costly approach to MSK care that complements in-person or remote PT appointments.

Comparing digital and in-person MSK care

As digital musculoskeletal (MSK) therapy apps and remote telehealth physical therapy (PT) gain traction, their benefits are becoming increasingly clear to employers and health plans looking to address MSK conditions in their populations. Yet one major question remains: How effectively can digital care complement in-person PT?

In a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), researchers explored how patients with chronic osteoarthritis of the knee or hip performed exercises while being assessed by Kaia’s Motion Coach™, powered by computer vision technology, alongside human PTs.

Results found that exercise feedback and corrections suggested by Kaia’s Motion Coach™ were consistent with in-person feedback from PTs participating in the study. This groundbreaking study – the first ever to compare a computer vision technology for digital MSK therapy to feedback provided by human PTs – has important implications for health plans, employers, and benefits managers seeking to lower MSK care costs while improving outcomes.

A demo of Kaia Health computer vision technology

How Motion Coach™ enhances care with precision and accessibility

Motion Coach™ is a core component of the Kaia Health app, providing corrective exercise feedback by capturing motion using the front-facing camera of a smartphone or tablet. The technology is already included in the Kaia Health MSK program and complements our team of health coaches and PTs.

For many patients, computer vision technology can be just as precise and effective as an in-person approach, with the added benefit of its 24/7 availability and no need for long wait times or appointments. This results in a digital-first approach that is more convenient, more scalable, and less costly than in-person or telePT.

“One common misconception is that people experiencing pain should avoid movement, which can lead to patients avoiding in person care altogether,” said Jodie McGinlay, Physical Therapist at Kaia. “As physical therapists, we guide patients to move safely and build their confidence. This involves practicing techniques, and providing positive feedback to help them manage their pain and overcome functional limitations.”

“Kaia’s innovative computer vision technology does both, empowering patients to safely return to exercise from the comfort of their own home,” said McGinlay. “While giving them confidence to keep improving. Our technology offers a powerful complement to in person care making quality treatments accessible and driving innovation in the traditional care experience.”

By continually improving upon its computer vision capabilities, Kaia promotes equitable care for all patient populations. The exercise feedback provided is consistent across patients of all genders, age groups, body shapes, and pain locations, regardless of the difficulty and complexity of the exercise.

Kaia Health computer vision technology form feedback is on par with in-person physical therapists.

Kaia MSK program sets new standards in pain management

Kaia’s MSK program brings an innovative approach to traditional care models for pain management. According to a study published by npj Digital Medicine, the Kaia MSK program significantly surpasses the standard of care for back pain treatment across various medical outcomes, including pain, anxiety, depression, stress, physical function, and overall well-being.

“This is the first study that clearly demonstrates the potential of computer vision technology to suggest corrections in the setting of therapeutic exercises for MSK pain management. Motion Coach™ is now the only technology in the MSK market to be clinically validated for its accuracy,” said Kaia Health CEO and Founder Konstantin Mehl. “This builds trust with users, employers, and health plans, as Kaia is available to a broad patient population through the convenience of just a smartphone or tablet.”

Learn more about how Kaia Health can help your population manage pain at

A man stretches on the floor in front of his smartphone with impact points highlighted on his body.
Computer vision technology provides direct feedback on exercise form and suggests corrections.

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