Dr. Vijay Yanamadala, Sword Health, on freeing 2 billion people from pain
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In this episode, we meet Dr. Vijay Yanamadala, Chief Medical Officer of Sword Health. SWORD Health is the world’s fastest growing virtual MSK care provider, on a mission to free two billion people from pain.
The company’s clinical-grade virtual therapy platform pairs expert physical therapists with FDA-listed wearable technology to deliver a personalized treatment plan that is more effective, easier and less expensive than traditional physical therapy. SWORD Health believes in the power of people to recover at home, without resorting to imaging, surgeries or opioids. Since launching in 2015, SWORD Health has worked with insurers, health systems and employers in the U.S, Europe and Australia to make quality physical therapy more accessible to everyone.
Launched in 2015, the company has raised approximately $324 million to date, with nearly $300 million raised in 2021 alone. In November 2021, Sword closed a $189M Series D financing round led by Sapphire Ventures with participation from new investors including Sozo Ventures and Willoughby Capital as well as previous investors including General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures. This round valued Sword Health at $2B. (Source: Bloomberg)
Dr. Vijay Yanamadala brings over a decade of clinical medical expertise as a world-renowned surgeon with a firm belief in reducing dependency on surgery through data-driven and patient-centered treatment plans. He has published over 60 papers focused on the safe and effective treatment of complex spinal conditions through advanced and innovative techniques and the use of multidisciplinary teams, for which he has received numerous awards. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School (MD), Harvard Business School (MBA) and Harvard College (BA).
In this episode, Dr. Yanamadala and I chat about:
- How his early childhood experiences motivated him to pursue a career as a surgeon and what led him to join Sword Health
- Why over 50% of spine surgeries today are avoidable and unnecessary and why the least invasive & highest value care (physical therapy) is underutilized
- Sword Health’s approach to improving access to comprehensive digital MSK care and how their outcomes compare to traditional care