Kaia Health raises $10 million to treat chronic pain with AI

by KYLE WIGGERS: For More, Go Here

Chronic diseases affect the lives of millions of people around the world. Over 16 million adults in the U.S., for instance, have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammation of the lungs that obstructs airflow. And researchers estimate that 80 percent of people in the U.S. will experience back pain several times in their lives. Making matters worse, the treatments tend to be expensive — in 2010, the total annual cost of COPD and back pain in the U.S. was projected to be $50 billion and $240 billion, respectively.

Kaia Health, a four-year-old firm founded by former Foodora CEO Konstantin Mehl and Manuel Thurner, claims its digital therapeutics solution — apps that tap artificial intelligence (AI) and motion-tracking technology to help manage pain — is not only cheaper than prescription drugs and in-person consultations, but more sustainable in the long term. Kaia has empirical evidence on its side: In a clinical study conducted at the Technical University of Munich’s Center for Pain Therapy and other “leading” institutions in Germany, the startup’s app-based approach reduced lower back pain by 40 percent.

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