SWORD Health, a digital therapy provider, launched a remote pulmonary rehabilitation program to meet the urgent need for and significant shortage of rehabilitation programs for COVID-19 patients. The program is the first of its kind in the US, pairing physical therapists with medical-grade and wearable technology so patients can make a full recovery from the comfort and safety of their homes.
For COVID-19 patients, the battle to breathe again doesn’t end when they are well enough to leave the hospital. Many of those who develop moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19 will need to continue rehabilitation after they are discharged or risk developing chronic lung issues that can significantly impair their quality of life and ability to return to work. Pulmonary rehabilitation is effective in improving the physical function, quality of life, mental health and vitality of these patients, but it remains largely inaccessible and expensive in the U.S. today, with risks of contagion worsening what was already a difficult-to-access treatment.
“We take breathing for granted – but when you can’t breathe well, you can’t live well,” said Virgílio Bento, Founder and CEO of SWORD Health. “Everyone who suffered from COVID-19 deserves a full recovery, especially those putting themselves at risk to save lives and keep our cities going. We want to help people put COVID-19 behind them and get their lives back.”
To help COVID-19 survivors breathe easily again, SWORD Health accelerated development of its fully-remote pulmonary rehabilitation program and made it immediately available to businesses whose employees need it. The program extends SWORD’s highly effective musculoskeletal therapy solution for back, joint and muscle pain, which has been found to be 30% more effective, with higher retention rates (54% more) than in-person therapy – adding blood oxygen and heart rate monitors to ensure pulmonary patients can progress safely through their recovery at home without putting others at risk. Treatment is highly personalized by SWORD physical therapists for each of their patients, and is based on the gold standard defined by the American Thoracic Society: exercise training, education, and behavior change.
“The need for pulmonary rehab is already significant, and it’s growing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Fernando Correia, SWORD Health Chief Medical Officer. “With this new program, physical therapists will be able to provide immediate, clinical grade care to more patients, without burdening our essential workers with extra health and financial costs.”
SWORD’s full digital therapy program is available to all U.S. employers and health plans, and will be offered to essential businesses at no cost for their employees.