An Interview with Rich Waldron and The Joint Academy
Rich Waldron, VP of Medical Affairs at Joint Academy, USA
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.