Validated Provider Report

2022 Validation Report

Review for: Kaia Health

Validation Achieved: Savings

Savings Valid Through: May 2023

Company Profile

Musculoskeletal Management
Public or Private:
Year Established:
Nigel Ohrenstein
Company Contact:


Musculoskeletal Management


Public or Private:


Year Established:



Nigel Ohrenstein

Company Contact:


Kaia Health makes effective musculoskeletal pain therapy accessible to people anywhere and anytime. Kaia is an at-home digital musculoskeletal pain management program that helps people self-manage symptoms and reduce costs for musculoskeletal conditions, like back and joint pain. Kaia also offers a pulmonary rehabilitation-based solution effective for pulmonary conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Through a mobile app on the patient’s own smartphone or tablet, the Kaia program provides biopsychosocial MSK care including curated physical exercises designed by physical therapists and based on international guidelines for physical therapy, mind-body content and techniques, and pain education modules without additional sensors or equipment. Using 24/7- available motion analysis technology, the program guides patients through customized, engaging workouts and patients receive real-time feedback, so they perform every exercise correctly and safely.

Patients also have access to 1:1 PT consultants with Kaia’s team of Doctors of Physical Therapy and coaching sessions with Kaia’s team of health coaches. PTs and coaches offer motivation and guidance throughout the program journey, as well as physical therapy support and care coordination. Since 2016, Kaia has partnered with employers and payers to deliver care to over 500,000 patients around the world.

Claim Assertion

Patients with low back pain who were randomly assigned to Kaia Health’s digital treatment program have significantly more improvement in pain (greater reduction) than patients receiving usual care. These patients also show significant reductions in total cost of care as compared to usual care across multiple service categories investigated. In addition, the intervention group’s average benefit for time away from work decreased.

Since this study was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in which enrollment was random rather than voluntary, the results are strong evidence that the program makes the difference.

Due to the clinical and health economic results of this study, German regulatory authorities may consider clinical guidelines to recommend use digital treatments such as Kaia.


General Practitioners were randomly assigned to offer low back pain patients the Kaia Health digital program. A total of 933 Patients were included in the Kaia group. The staff was trained in the Kaia Health program and its support services. Similarly, 312 patients received usual care without restrictions – following the recommendations of the German National Care Guideline on treatment of non-specific back pain. These guidelines closely resemble United States national guidelines for non-specific back pain. The total patient sample was 1,245 participants.

The Kaia and the control groups were compared on demographic traits to ensure that they were similar to one another. They were compared on gender (% female), age, height/weight, education, employment, use of pain killers, risk of chronic pain, and how they were referred for care.

The percent change in average hospital, outpatient, drug, and physical therapy cost per patient were calculated for the Kaia and control groups. from the 12-month period before the intervention began to the 12 months following. For the same time periods, average per person sick day benefit was also calculated; sick day benefits are a percentage of the person’s regular salary and begin after the person has lost six weeks of work. The percent change in average per user sick day benefits was calculated, and then compared between the two groups (Difference in differences). The significance of the differences between the two groups was also calculated (p values).

Findings & Validation

Graph 1 summarizes how much each group’s average per person costs changed as a percentage of the baseline costs from the pre- to the post- period. The average medical costs for hospital and outpatient services were significantly different between the two groups: the Kaia group’s increase in costs was statistically lower than the increase for the control group. The other components reviewed differed between the two groups, but not significantly so.

Graph 1


The population analyzed was German, working age adults. It is assumed that the results would be similar for working age adults in other Western countries, such as the United States.

The average sick days benefit reflects the mix of people’s salaries in the pre and post observation periods. Thus, changes in the average benefit paid may be a function of when higher-paid people returned to work, rather than a change in the use of sick day benefits.

Further studies will be needed to evaluate the solution’s impact in specific service categories.

Works Cited

Mazan MR, Hoffman AM. 2001. Effects of aerosolized albuterol on physiologic responses to exercise in standardbreds. Am J Vet Res. 62(11):1812–1817.
(Mazan and Hoffman 2001)
Smart N, Fang ZY, Marwick TH. 2003. A practical guide to exercise training for heart failure patients. J Card Fail. 9(1):49–58.
(Smart et al. 2003)
Pizzi C, Caraglia M, Cianciulli M, Fabbrocini A, Libroia A, Matano E, Contegiacomo A, Del Prete S, Abbruzzese A, Martignetti A, et al. 2002. Low-dose recombinant IL-2 induces psychological changes: monitoring by Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Anticancer Res. 22(2A):727–732.
(Pizzi et al. 2002)
Gardos G, Cole JO, Haskell D, Marby D, Paine SS, Moore P. 1988. The natural history of tardive dyskinesia. J Clin Pharmacol. 8(4 Suppl):31S–37S.
(Gardos et al. 1988)
Leboffe MJ, Pierce BE. 2010. Microbiology: laboratory theory and application. Englewood (CO): Morton Publishing Company.
(Leboffe and Pierce 2010)

Validation and Credibility Guarantee

Kaia Health’s Digital Low Back Pain Treatment Program achieved validation for Savings. Validation Institute is willing to provide up to a $25,000 guarantee as part of their Credibility Guarantee Program.

Program Validation

Program has strong evidence of significant impact on both patient outcomes and on medical costs. Evidence is assessed based upon the certainty it provides that the result is due to the program and not to other factors, such as recruiting people to participate in the program who are most likely to succeed.


Can reduce health care spending per case/participant or for the plan/purchaser overall.


Product/solution has measurably improved an outcome (risk, hba1c, events, employee retention, etc.) of importance.


Credible sources and valid assumptions create a reasonable estimate of a program’s impact.

Contractual Integrity

Vendor is willing to put a part of their fees "at risk" as a guarantee.

About Validation Institute

Validation Institute is a professional community that advocates for organizations and approaches that deliver better health value - stronger health outcomes at lower cost. We connect, train, and certify health care purchasers, and we validate and connect providers delivering superior results. Founded in 2014, the mission of the organization has consistently been to help provide transparency to buyers of health care.

Validation Review Process

Validation Institute has a team of epidemiologists and statisticians who review each program. The team focuses on three components:

  • Evidence from published literature that a similar intervention had similar results.
  • The reliability and credibility of the data sources.
  • The rigor of the approach to calculating results

To achieve validation, the program has to satisfy each of these components. VI’s team then summarizes the review into a report which is publicly available. Details of VI’s review are available with the program’s permission.

500 West Cummings Park
Woburn, MA 01801

Validation Expiration: May 2023

Certificate of Validation


Kaia Health


Kaia Health’s Digital Low Back Pain Treatment Program

500 7th Avenue, WeWork - 8th Floor, New York, NY 10018


Patients randomly assigned to Kaia Health’s digital low back pain treatment program use significantly less medical care and therefore have lower costs than patients receiving usual care.

Validation Achieved:

Validated for Savings

Validation Award Date:

July 2022

Linda K. Riddell, MS

VP, Population Health Scientist

Validation Institute

Benny DiCecca

Chief Executive Officer

Validation Institute

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