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David Health Solutions: Movement as Medicine

Mr. Arno Parviainen CEO and Founder David Health Solutions | Insights Care

Headquarter in Helsinki, Finland; David Health Solutions Ltd. is a rehabilitation solutions provider for musculoskeletal problems. Established in the year 1981 by Arno Parviainen, the CEO, the company has its operations on a global platform. The company is transforming spine and orthopedic care with a data-driven, device-based exercise therapy solution that is directly in consensus with the latest guidelines. It promotes exercise and cognitive support as the first line treatment for most chronic musculoskeletal problems.

Exercise combined with the body’s ability to regenerate is a powerful tool. Unfortunately, it is underutilized in healthcare. However, times are changing. What DHS found out over 30 years ago is becoming the norm now. Indeed, its solution used to be the last remedy in the toolbox; now, it is the first. Decades ago, Arno was convinced that the best way to treat musculoskeletal pain was targeted and controlled exercise therapy using specially designed devices. Having started small, David Health Solutions has now set up more than 350 centers around the world using its intelligent solutions for spine and orthopedic care.

The Journey of Innovation & Intelligence

Several years were spent on intense research and development in building biomechanically optimal training devices for each joint. David Health Solutions quickly found out that with this approach it was possible to start movement and training, even for the patients suffering from severe pain. The key was to design devices that were gentle for the joints, but demanding for the muscles. The company visualizes becoming the torchbearer in one of the biggest changes in healthcare, covering the most costly and debilitating healthcare problem.

“In anything we do, the well-being of the patient is always the most important factor. No technology alone can solve these problems unless there are unified minds at all levels to bring the benefits to the patient,” asserts Arno. The company is strictly a ‘school medicine’ company, meaning that it makes no unsubstantiated claims and bases its philosophy on data and science. Therefore, to keep up with technology, it is now developing an AI system that can learn from the hundreds of thousands of patient cases to provide better and more individualized care for each patient.

David Health Solutions works on the core value of ‘patient wellbeing’, this is also the reason it is transforming itself from a device company to a service company. “This is the only way we can ensure the best quality and operational efficiency. We have centers under the “Nordic Health” brand, either owned by us or under our management in Finland, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and now coming to USA. Our first Nordic Health Spine and Ortho Center will open in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in partnership with neurosurgeons. The next ones will open in California and New Jersey,” says Arno. There is a great need for integrated services providing the whole continuum of care, believes DHS.

“Life is a Marathon”

Arno Parviainen knows the power of exercise firsthand. After multiple injuries in water skiing, cycling, and tennis, he could have been disabled with any of those incidences. But he was fortunate to know the possibilities device-based training can offer. The most serious injury caused a cauda-equina with total nerve block and paralyzed his calves. It took him five years of persistent training and running before he was able to run same distances and at same speeds as before the accident. His experience is well documented in his blog: “Life is a marathon”.

Parviainen has a degree in economics, but his knowledge in how to build biomechanically correct devices is very rare in the industry. He started his interest after travelling in the US at the age of seventeen and got acquainted with devices in the market there. He built his own set of devices at the age of eighteen and from there on his passion has been to develop technologies that can help patients suffering in back and joint pain.

Distinctive Services and Solutions

The David Exercise Therapy Solution utilizes specially designed devices with joint-specific isolation and loading curves, guaranteeing safe and pain-free training experience. Its cloud based, state-of-the-art IT system guides and motivates the patient and simultaneously collects all relevant data automatically for easy reporting.

Every device is also a testing device for strength and mobility. Based on these test results, the software will automatically provide individualized training weights and movement ranges. All parameters of the exercise are digitally controlled this way. Nordic Health clinic, which is equipped with the full system, is frequently visited by the staff of the clinic for exercise and preventative care. “It is great to see everyone, from our COO to our Marketing Associates, so enthusiastic to utilize the technology for both rehabilitation and preventive care,” he says.

The company’s medical rehabilitation system is unique because it is the only fully equipped solution in the market. The DAVID product portfolio includes intelligent devices that specifically target the spine, hip & knee, and shoulder joints. This is great news for rehabilitation clinics because the practice can offer patients care for a variety of musculoskeletal problems with a turn-key solution that has been validated in a number of studies and in use in hundreds of centers.

Distinguishing Itself from Others

Typical services in this area are run by therapists on a one-to-one basis, using poor and outdated tools. This is a very consuming work for the therapists and the work is typically quite random. There are no standardized and structured programs and due to high costs, most programs are cut short before the patient is well.

DAVID’s innovative solution uses advanced training technology and cloud-based software for guidance, control, and data-gathering. This has dramatically changed the role of the therapists from manual workers to that of a coach, expert, and motivator. After a few sessions with the therapists, a patient learns to use the system independently and is empowered to take care of his/her own health. This frees the therapists to concentrate on the more difficult cases, while the technology guides the other patients through the program. “Up to six patients can be treated by one therapist,” says Arno.

This has also opened a completely new market for medical centers, the on-going prevention care with a membership model. Most of the patients that went through the program are willing to continue once a week in the maintenance program. This requires very little personnel resources and provides steady income stream for the clinic.

Awards and Appreciations

The company and Parviainen have been awarded tens of different patents in connection to technical solutions and methods. The company’s production has an ISO 13485 certificate which is GMP in Europe, covering production of medical devices. All the devices are also separately medically certified. The praise it receives form its customers speaks leaps and bounds of the company’s excellent service.

“We at St. Lucas in Bruges, Belgium, adopted the use of device-based back treatment already in 1998. Due to the evidence of its efficacy, a national insurance code was issued for this method. In December of 2015, we moved to a new phase in our operation when we changed to a fully integrated DAVID Solution with automatic adjustments, patient guidance, and tracking of all critical variables. Our experience is that patients are more motivated, results seem to be better, and integration to the hospital’s electronic patient record system saves a lot of administrational work.”−Dr. Marc Soenen, AZ Sint-Lucas Hospital

“Having been a neurosurgeon for over thirty years, I have always maintained the desire to explore conservative, non-operative options for my patients. In 2015, we became acquainted with the DAVID Spine Concept. We have been so impressed with the DAVID Solution that we are on our third set of DAVID Spine equipment and have now integrated DAVID’s hip and shoulder therapy as well. It is rewarding to see that active rehabilitation can dramatically change people’s lives for the better and help them avoid surgery.” −Luke Knox M.D. F.A.C.S, Northwest Arkansas Neurosurgery Clinic

Bright Future of DAVID

The fact that device-based exercise therapy is going to gain ground in the medical world is already clear. National level insurance reimbursements and contracts with health ministries in different countries are a proof of that, believes Arno. “When people become more familiar with these ideas and have a chance to personally try in practice how the system works, attitudes will change,” he says.  The company strives to improve its operations and offerings to continue to provide the world’s most comprehensive solution for musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

The next major jump forward will be when David Health Solutions will put its AI engine in clinical use. This system will provide the most accurate and individualized care of any system available. It will consider all background factors of the patient, like diagnosis, pain level, education, psychological profile, test results, and so on. It will well understand that musculoskeletal problems are complex, and not only physical, and therefore it is critical to incorporate all success and failure factors in the program.

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