Digital Health

SWORD Raises $163M for Virtual MSK Platform

SWORD Health
Image Credit: SWORD Health

Digital musculoskeletal (MSK) care provider SWORD Health raised a $189m Series D round, making the startup the latest digital health “unicorn” by lifting its valuation to $1.8b.

Based on SWORD’s fundraising pace, it’s safe to say the pandemic has been a boom for virtual MSK solutions. The company closed a $25m Series B in January, followed by an $85m Series C in June, and the recent funding pushed its outside capital total to over $324m.

SWORD offers a suite of personalized MSK solutions that includes:

  • ASK a PT – 24/7 remote access to physical therapists for general questions
  • Digital Guardian – Applies wearables and video monitors to guide safe workouts
  • The Academy – Customized educational content

The virtual-first approach is designed to reduce preventable surgeries for patients while driving value for risk-taking customers such as payors, employers, and health systems.

SWORD CEO Virgilio Bento founded the company in 2015 after seeing first-hand the “challenges that families face when they have to recover a loved one.” The WHO estimates that close to 2 billion people suffer from MSK conditions globally, creating a lot of room for multiple companies to emerge as leaders.

Digital MSK startups have attracted significant investor attention in recent months, with Hinge Health securing $600m to expand its online MSK platform, and Kaia Health raising $75m for its no-hardware-needed rehabilitation programs.

The Takeaway

SWORD prides itself on being “the industry’s only end-to-end digital MSK solution” (but then again, so does Hinge), and it will need to demonstrate that its hybrid approach offers a superior return on investment than competing strategies. If it can accomplish this, then the new funding should give it strong positioning within an MSK market that is quickly establishing itself as one of the top telehealth use cases.

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