SimpleTherapy Launches The First Online Alternative to Physical Therapy


NEW YORK, NY.  SimpleTherapy Inc., a New York City-based company that has been pilot testing its online exercise therapy programs for a year, has emerged from beta with two large health insurance companies as customers and $1.3 million in angel backing.

The company is already in talks with east and west coast venture funds as it prepares to raise an additional $3 million in early 2015, says Chief Executive Officer Helena Plater-Zyberk.

SimpleTherapy is algorithm-driven, allowing each user to instantaneously embark on a video-based exercise therapy program that’s customized to his or her pain needs. The programs, covering head-to-toe pain points, are comprised of a series of 15-20 minute video sessions that are generated on demand for each user after a series of inputs. Upon each subsequent login, the user’s program adapts to his or her feedback. Users progress along a personal path to pain recovery, which typically takes a matter of weeks.

In the U.S., musculoskeletal pain is the number two reason for doctor visits, resulting in a $300 billion pain management industry. Busy professionals and baby boomers alike are unable to follow through on the over 100 million physical therapy prescriptions issued annually, resulting in chronic pain problems and further escalating healthcare costs.

“We designed SimpleTherapy in response to patient need. Only a small fraction of patients with musculoskeletal pain are able to attend physical therapy consistently due to cost and time constraints,” says Nic Gay MD, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer, as well as a practicing orthopaedic surgeon in the San Francisco Bay Area. “We’ve created a more convenient online option for people, globally, who suffer from episodic and chronic pain.”

Several startups are testing digital physical therapy options that run on add-on devices, such as Microsoft Kinect. These programs are designed to supplement in-person physical therapy clinic visits and may incrementally lower the barriers to physical therapy compliance.

“SimpleTherapy’s approach is to eliminate the barrier,” says the Chief Executive. “We believe in the merits of traditional physical therapy. Yet, the vast majority of adults struggle with access to in-person treatment. Now they can receive the pain recovery help they need from their own living rooms, or via mobile connections, when it’s convenient. Clinic visits are no longer an obstacle to pain recovery.”

SimpleTherapy’s two new customers, both Top 7 health insurance companies, are offering the service to members through dedicated online portals. Up to eight additional large self-insured employers will also offer SimpleTherapy to their employees as a virtual healthcare option in 2015.

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