Endorsed as ‘The Most Promising Technology’ by Home Care 100, ‘The Best Digital Health Technology’ by Juniper Research, and with many more such prestigious titles, Reflexion Health has exploited innovations in technology to put patients first in their physical therapy. The organization is a virtual physical therapy company dedicated to helping people recover from surgery or injury at home.
Headquartered in San Diego, Reflexion Health was founded by the Gary and Mary West Institute in 2012. Its flagship product, VERA™, is an FDA-cleared Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation Assistant that combines an engaging avatar, 3D motion-capture technology, and telehealth oversight by licensed physical therapists.
A Polymath Leader
The President and Chief Executive Officer of Reflexion Health, Joseph Smith, MD, PhD brings decades of health-IT focused strategic, engineering and clinical expertise to the innovative digital health company. He is an international speaker and expert on digital therapeutics and healthcare innovation. At Reflexion, Dr. Smith collaborates with the Product Strategy/Business Development and Information Technology teams to keep the company abreast of market trends and innovations happening within the healthcare industry.
VERA™ – The Smart, Friendly Face at Reflexion Health
VERA™ is an FDA-cleared Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation Assistant that enables patients to perform their physical therapy in the comfort of their own homes with continuous, non-contact pose detection and avatar-mediated education and feedback. For patients undergoing knee or hip surgery, this means there’s no need to find rides to and from the PT clinic, deal with traffic, battle the weather, or spend money on gas or copays.
The VERA™ platform encompasses three key components:
- An engaging avatar who guides patients through their prescribed PT treatment plans
- A 3D-pose tracking camera that measures 26 joints and limbs in motion, 30 times per second
- Remote oversight and telehealth visits with a licensed physical therapist
An integrated technology kit is shipped to the patient’s home prior to the surgery so he or she can become accustomed to using it. Interactive videos and checklists help prepare patients for what to expect throughout the rehab experience. With a Net Promoter Score of 87, patient affinity for VERA exceeds Apple products and Amazon services.
Milestones Attained by the Company
On October 15, 2018, Reflexion Health announced the results of VERITAS, a one-of-a-kind prospective randomized controlled trial comparing virtual physical therapy with VERA to traditional care.
Conducted by Duke Clinical Research Institute, the study1 demonstrated that VERA saves over $2,745 per patient, safe and effective as traditional PT, reduces hospital readmissions by 60 percent, cuts urgent care or emergency room visits by 30 percent, lowers home health visits by 95 percent, decreases total outpatient physical therapy visits by 86 percent, and reduces skilled nursing facility stays by 60 percent. It has been observed that patients assigned to traditional physical therapy had an average of 4.8 home health physical therapy encounters and 10.1 outpatient physical therapy visits versus those who were assigned to the VERA arm that only required 0.3 home health and 1.4 outpatient physical therapy visits.
This groundbreaking study proves that at-home virtual physical therapy coupled with the remote clinician oversight brings a cost-effective alternative to traditional care; one that is more convenient for patients while providing clinicians greater insight into the recovery process. In addition to the Duke study, Reflexion Health also participated in a study by a major academic medical center that was published in The Journal of Knee Surgery2 in March 2018. Results include:
- Patient adherence: Patient using VERA had a mean adherence of 77.9%, as measured by the repetitions completed over the course of the episode of care vs. traditional adherence of 42.7%.
- Completed Exercises per Home Exercise Program (HEP): Patients on average completed 12 exercises during their HEP session vs. the traditional 4-5 exercises.
- Post-surgical visits: VERA patients participated in 5.6 post telehealth visits, 2.3 of which were 20-minute telehealth visits and 3.3 were in-person outpatient clinic visits vs. traditional 11.6 outpatient clinic visits.
- Total Rehabilitation Length (days): Patients completed their rehab in 29.4 days vs. traditional therapy lasting 55 days. This included all virtual visits, post-surgical visits, and days spent engaging with their HEP.
- Average exercise time per day: Patients using VERA spent on average 26 minutes per day engaged in their exercise program. This number is unknown with traditional physical therapy.
“Patient satisfaction is off the charts. People recover just as well – or even better – with VERA than with standard physical therapy,” says Dr. Frank Aluisio, Greensboro Orthopaedics, while reviewing VERA assistant.
Envisaging an Advanced Future
“We see the future of the healthcare industry as more patient-centered, data-driven, and value-based. Everyone is demanding more value in healthcare spending, and we are poised to take advantage of this trend as we continue to demonstrate excellent outcomes, cost-savings, and world-class patient satisfaction,” says Dr. Smith while elaborating the future of both the company and healthcare industry.