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Monthly Member Spotlight: Joint Academy

With origins in Sweden and recent expansion into the US, organizations like Joint Academy help us stay connected to communities close to home and abroad to learn different strategies for osteoarthritis education and management, and to expand public awareness of OA as widely as possible. This month, we’re excited to spotlight the latest happenings of our member organization, Joint Academy!Joint Academy

Joint Academy is a healthcare company that treats osteoarthritis by combining physical activity, education, and healthcare professionals using science and technology to make healthcare delivery scalable and efficient. Their digital program allows therapeutics and data science to open up new possibilities for treating chronic conditions in a sustainable, available and more personalized way. OAAA and Joint Academy both recommend physical activity to patients to decrease their joint pain. Studies show after 30 weeks in the Joint Academy program, patients reduce their joint pain by 46% on average. We are grateful to establish this connection with Joint Academy as they are actively adding US payers and provider groups and looking forward to the new opportunities this partnership brings.

An Interview with Rich Waldron and The Joint Academy

Rich Waldron, VP of Medical Affairs at Joint Academy, USARich Waldron

1. What is your organization’s interest in the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance?

The OAAA is one of the United States most recognized thought leaders as it pertains to the scale of the OA problem, and current treatment interventions for fixing the problem. Joint Academy shares that vision by offering our proven first line defense in reversing the debilitating symptoms associated with OA.

2. What do you think is the most important issue today related to osteoarthritis?

The most important issue today, as it relates to OA is: Right patient getting the right treatment at the right time. There is plenty of research and guidance offered by the academic and medical leadership community; unfortunately, treatment recommendations are not always followed. Costly and invasive total joint replacements are expected to rise over 650% in the next 10 years; however, previous research has demonstrated that 26-44% of these surgeries might have been postponed if the proper care pathways were followed.

3. How does your work connect to issues in osteoarthritis?

A gold standard, clinic-based program consisting of neuromuscular exercises, patient education about their condition, peer-to-peer support and coaching by a physical therapist was hugely successful at improving patient health and reducing the economic burden of OA. Over 100,000 patients have participated in the Better Osteoarthritis (BOA) care program in Sweden. Our digital clinic, Joint Academy, is not only a digitized version of the world’s most successful osteoarthritis treatment – it’s a better version:

  • We treat osteoarthritis to 70% of the cost-lowering the economic burden for patients and Insurance plans.
  • We use data science to personalize and make the treatment more efficient.
  • Our patients’ outcomes are better.
  • We offer a life-long solution – something that no one else does.

4. What is a headline you’d like to see about osteoarthritis in five years?

Health headline in 5 years, “Joint replacement surgeries decreasing in the US.”

5. What is one interesting fact you’d like people to know about your organization?

We were founded by an Orthopedic surgeon, who stumbled upon our solution. He was hoping it was a pill, injection or surgery, but it turned out it was Physical Therapy led education and exercise…..simple solutions.

Joint Academy


The Joint Academy “Digital Clinic”
According to the APTA, home-based health care services, including physical therapy, are usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as the care provided in a traditional medical setting. This distinction has been especially relevant during the COVID-19 epidemic, as many medical facilities greatly expanded telehealth services in early 2020. To keep up with the demand for digital care, Joint Academy created a digital clinic for chronic joint pain which allows patients to perform exercises, learn about osteoarthritis, meet and chat with their personal physical therapist/physiotherapist, track their progress, and report on their pain levels from the comfort of their home. The Joint Academy has published a series of peer-reviewed research studies on digital self-management programs, which can be assessed HERE.
And make sure to connect with The Joint Academy on Social Media! 

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