One in two adults are affected by a musculoskeletal condition. 61% of all sports injuries are musculoskeletal. Employers spend more on musculoskeletal disorders than any other condition or chronic disease, approximately $20 billion/year in direct costs and up to 5X in associated indirect costs*.

Conventional treatment of musculoskeletal injury begins with a subjective assessment of an individual’s biomechanics (physical movements) made by a highly skilled physician, therapist, or coach. This assessment and the corrections of movement through physical therapy can result in high variability in outcomes, due in part to the manual process and the patient’s ability to retain and apply those biomechanical instructions on their own.

A team in the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in collaboration with University of Cincinnati's Center for Cognition, Action and Perception, developed an autonomous digital health solution called aNMT (an abbreviation of Augmented Neuromuscular Training). aNMT can assess movement and provide feedback in real-time. Movement is captured through cameras, and using proprietary algorithms, positional information is processed in milliseconds, which gives real-time biofeedback about whether a movement was correct. aNMT acts as a virtual coach to assess, correct, and optimize the user’s biomechanics, objectively and autonomously. Funding for the early development of this technology came from the National Institutes of Health, the State of Ohio and the Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Fund.

Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Ventures (CCIV) successfully negotiated the favorable terms of an exclusive license to IncludeHealth, a Cincinnati based start-up. CCIV worked closely with the medical center’s leadership and compliance department, seed investor and Entrepreneurial Services Provider CincyTech, and external counsel to develop the investment rationale, and to manage multiple agreements with the licensor, inventors and key contributors.

aNMT is being integrated into IncludeHealth’s cloud platform and connected equipment, to provide clinically validated treatment paths for patients, including children and adults recovering from musculoskeletal diseases, disorders or injuries; seniors with mobility issues or other musculoskeletal pain; and athletes of all ages and physical ability.

*Sources: U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration