IncludeHealth strikes partnership with Google, Ohio-based health system for virtual PT

After working closely with Google to refine its virtual physical therapy platform, IncludeHealth struck a partnership with ProMedica Health System

The platform, called MSK-OS, uses machine learning to track if patients are doing their exercises correctly, by calculating their poses using the camera on their cell phone or laptop. While other startups are working on similar technologies, IncludeHealth’s approach is unique in that it’s looking to offer its software to healthcare providers, rather than selling a virtual musculoskeletal clinic to employers, as Omada and Hinge Health are doing.

Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica Health System would be IncludeHealth’s largest customer to date. The health system, which has 11 hospitals across Ohio and Michigan, would use it to offer personalized at-home exercise plans to patients.

In an emailed statement, IncludeHealth Founder and CEO Ryan Eder said that the company would work with ProMedica to develop a clinical operating model to help best serve their patients.

“This will unlock the next phase of growth for the company as we continue onboarding additional provider partners moving forward,” he wrote.

Eder founded the Cincinnati-based company a little over a decade ago, with a slightly different focus. He started with building accessible exercise equipment, but began incorporating more software into the business as it rolled out a platform to give people autonomous instructions.

In 2019, the company licensed out software from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to measure and correct users’ movement in real time. Focusing more on this space, it started working with Google last year to improve IncludeHealth’s pose-estimation models, using TensorFlow, Google’s open-source machine learning library.

Sandeep Gupta, a product manager for TensorFlow, said in a news release that his team provided early releases of their latest pose estimation model and worked with IncludeHealth to strike a balance between speed and accuracy.

The company plans to continue to collaborate with Google on its technology going forward.

Competition is heating up in the virtual physical therapy segment as investors pour in more funding and companies refine technologies for tracking users’ exercises at home. Earlier this year, Omada Health rolled out a tool using computer vision technology after buying Physera, an app that connects people to remote consultations with physical therapists.

Meanwhile, Kaia health, which uses cell phone cameras to guide people through exercises, raised $75 million earlier this year, and Hinge Health, which uses wearable sensors paired with coaching, passed a $3 billion valuation with a $300 million fundraise.

Photo credit: wagnerokasaki, Getty Images

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