Wednesday, Mar 17, 2021 | 12:00 AM ET
How digital therapy helps elderly patients while reducing rehabilitation costs
Veera Anantha, CEO of Constant Therapy Health, discusses the critical role digital health is playing in the care of elderly patients living with cognitive disorders, and how next-generation digital therapy solutions are reducing the cost of care for providers. He also discusses how Constant Therapy’s latest clinical trial showed how digital therapy done exclusively at home is both clinically effective and highly engaging, even for the most difficult-to-reach patients.
About Constant Therapy:
Constant Therapy Health is a next-generation digital therapeutics company that believes technology can improve access to therapy, reduce the cost of delivering it, and ultimately increase the efficacy of therapy. We developed Constant Therapy, an award-winning cognitive, language, and speech therapy mobile app designed for people with brain injury or cognitive disorders that gives them direct access to exercises that can reignite and rebuild their cognitive, speech, and language functions. Founded in science and built by a team of top neuroscientists and clinicians at Boston University, Constant Therapy has already been used by tens of thousands of patients, who have helped us create the world’s largest brain rehabilitation.
Steve Cooke: My name is Steve Cooke and it is my pleasure today to discuss the topic: how digital therapy can help elderly patients while reducing rehabilitation costs, why does it matter, how can we do this and some useful data points of success. I would like to welcome Veera Anantha, Co-founder and CEO of Constant Therapy Health to discuss this with me. Constant Therapy is the leading provider of digital health and cognitive therapy to patients worldwide. Veera, there's a lot of interest today in digital therapy mental health and behavioral health. You have a very unique perspective with the work you do in digitally engaging some of the most vulnerable patients. Tell me about what you do and how it is different.
Veera Anantha: Thanks, Steve. A lot of digital health and digital therapeutics today are focused on providing engagement tools or therapy to the living well people who are looking for consumer-friendly add-ons to optimize their health. However the top causes for rising healthcare costs in the U.S. isn't caring for our aging population and especially the sickest of these patients. So providing digital therapy and engagement tools to these patients has been our focus and it not only has the potential to materially change healthcare outcomes but can also significantly save costs. For example, care for elderly patients with neurological disorders like dementia cost about 300 billion in 2020. They don't often get the therapy and other care they need in a timely manner today to manage their health and stay out of the hospital similarly patients after a stroke for example may lose their ability to read speak or write things we take for granted and as many as 50 of these patients are getting readmitted to the hospital within one year after having the stroke. So what we're finding is that by providing effective digital therapy to these patients at home, we are giving them the tools to not only improve but also we have created a way to continuously engage with these patients who are otherwise very difficult to reach. Thus we believe that digital platforms like Constant Therapy can truly remove the huge blind spot that we have in our healthcare system, which impacts the patients with the greatest needs.
Steve Cooke: That's great, Veera. I was also excited to read Constant Therapy's recently published clinical trial results especially regarding the level of engagement and clinical efficacy among elderly stroke patients. Can you tell me more about it?
Veera Anantha: Yeah, absolutely. Any effective digital therapeutic needs to achieve two things: clinical efficacy and meaningful engagement. So ideally a digital therapeutic should feel like you have an expert clinician with you at all times. So with these principles in mind, we built Constant Therapy on a sound clinical foundation with over half a million evidence-based speech and cognitive therapy exercises available on our platform. The clinical trial results that you referenced were published recently in the frontiers in neurology and it shows that stroke patients can digitally engage with their therapy at home and improve significantly in their communication skills, cognitive abilities and quality of life. So based on a growing body of evidence, we now know that it can be life-changing for these patients, especially to those who face geographic and financial barriers to accessing their care. Also by designing the program specifically for these patients in mind, you know in our case it's not millennials but patients over 65 with various types of cognitive disabilities, you can truly engage these patients at home. Of course this is not an easy thing to do but we have now delivered over 150 million exercises through the platform to these elderly patients who engage with the program independently at home and it turns out that some of some of whom are actually into their 90s with this kind of engagement it can lead to greater independence for these patients. It can free up their caregivers and improve the overall quality of care for these patients.
Steve Cooke: Thank you. Given their scalability and broad appeal, digital therapeutics have the potential to drastically reduce costs in serving some of our most vulnerable and difficult to reach populations, what aspects of patient care do you see this having the most immediate impact on?
Veera Anantha: Yeah so our research has shown that patients needing cognitive or speech therapy can benefit immediately from using these digital solutions since at a fraction of the cost these patients can get five times the amount of digital therapy at home to augment their clinical only care. More specifically, providers and health plans serving patients recovering after a stroke or a brain injury or dementia diagnosis could use Constant Therapy to save significant costs they can improve their outcomes and reduce the engagement blind spot that with these especially difficult to reach patients so the organizations such as the Veterans Administration, the VA are already doing this and we see this trend accelerating as we look ahead.
Steve Cooke: Fantastic, thank you Veera. I appreciate your time today. I look forward to seeing what Constant Therapy will bring in the future. Thanks.
Dr. Veera AnanthaCEO, Constant Therapy Health