A healthcare technology company which has developed an online tool to accurately assess the cause of back pain and reduce workplace absence has secured £250,000 in funding to help accelerate its progress.
PhysioMedics has developed the system aimed at helping health insurance firms and occupational health companies manage the condition of patients and employees with muscle and joint problems.
The PhysioWizard platform, which the firm says is the world’s first clinically validated self-assessment tool of its kind, has been shown to replicate a physiotherapist’s assessment of a patient with 93 per cent accuracy.
The potential of the product has now seen it attract investment from Scottish business angel investment syndicate Archangels, with support from Lanarkshire-based incubator MediCity Scotland where the company is based.
PhysioWizard has been developed by physiotherapist Kirsten Lord, who in 1992 founded Edinburgh-headquartered The Physio Centres, which is Scotland’s largest private physiotherapy group, and a team of specialist clinicians.
She said by matching back pain sufferers with the recommended treatment, the platform enables patients to actively participate in their treatment and achieve better results.
Lord said PhysioWizard’s customers see the platform as a major breakthrough in reducing costs and speeding up the recovery timeline.
“Most people who develop back pain turn to Google initially and sometimes the information they find about their particular problem is right but most of the time it isn’t,” said Lord.
“PhysioWizard assesses those with back pain more consistently, faster and cheaper than any other method, helping sufferers return to work in half the time.
“It’s very exciting to be at the forefront of healthcare and making a real difference.”
The funding round from Archangels will help strengthen the firm’s team to 13 staff by the end of this year as it embarks on full commercial marketing of the product.
Sarah Hardy, chief investment officer at Archangels, said: “The PhysioWizard team has worked tirelessly to clinically validate their platform and has big aspirations for its further development.
“This seed funding demonstrates Archangels’ ability to engage at an early stage and work with the management team.
“We are confident that PhysioWizard has the potential to transform the way healthcare is delivered.”
Lord and her team has already started developing self-assessment tools for other areas of the body and plan to release a lower limb module covering hip, knee and ankle problems later this year.
Back pain causes an estimated 12.5 per cent of employee absenteeism and typically results in 19 days off work. It is estimated to cost the UK economy £17 billion a year.