Hinge Health Introduces Physical Therapy House Call Service

Digital musculoskeletal clinic Hinge Health launched a physical therapy house call service Tuesday, which will complement its virtual care capabilities.

San Francisco-based Hinge Health provides physical therapy for the neck, upper back, shoulders, elbows, lower back and more. Patients receive a care team, including physical therapists, health coaches and physicians. Hinge Health works with health plans and employers, serving more than 1,250 companies, including Verizon, Volvo and Salesforce. The company has raised about $1 billion in funding.

The house call service is initially starting in Chicago, but will eventually expand nationally in about 18 to 24 months. Members are able to schedule appointments through the Hinge Health app, and a physical therapist from the company will come to their home within one to two business days. Each appointment is about 45 minutes long. The physical therapist will conduct an assessment that evaluates the member’s physical ability, flexibility, strength and balance, as well as any risks in the home.

“The [physical therapist], since they’re in the home, can do a fall risk assessment, which includes evaluating their functional mobility but also assessing the home. Are there carpets you might trip over? Are there stairs we need to think about?” said Daniel Perez, co-founder and CEO of Hinge Health. He will be presenting the news Wednesday at the J.P. Morgan conference in San Francisco.

While virtual care has skyrocketed in popularity, many people still prefer in-person care, especially when they’re starting their healthcare journey, Perez said. That is why the company decided to create a hybrid model.

“For a lot of people, digital care has expanded access … but there are quite a few folks who prefer to complement their digital care experience with in-person encounters as well,” he said in an interview. “This is particularly relevant for people with back joint and muscle pain where an initial in-person evaluation can substantially enhance downstream digital care.”

To track the success of the new service, the company will be following clinical outcomes, including pain improvement, reduction in elective surgeries, improvement in functional outcomes and mental health comorbidities. Hinge Health will also be tracking patient engagement, retention, satisfaction and cost reduction, Perez said.

There’s a need for this kind of hybrid treatment, he added. About one in two Americans have a musculoskeletal condition, which costs about $600 billion to the U.S. economy.

“It’s been ignored for a long time because musculoskeletal conditions aren’t seen as killing you,” Perez declared.

Other digital companies for musculoskeletal care are Sword Health and Kaia Health.

Photo: Hinge Health