In honor of this month’s rehab innovation theme, we’re featuring several new products and companies that are bridging the therapy and technology gap. These innovators are using technology to improve patient outcomes and experiences in therapy, and to us, it doesn’t get much better than that. First on our list was IKKOS. Next up: Sway.
We were lucky enough to exchange emails with Sway founder and CEO Chase Curtiss. Here’s what we learned:
Why and how did Sway come to be?
In 2010, Chase Curtiss saw a problem and developed a solution. As a clinical exercise physiologist who studied neuropsychology and human performance at Wichita State University, Curtiss was quite familiar with the importance of balance testing in the sports and therapy industries. However, while the standard testing equipment—like force platforms—provided clinicians with the necessary objective measures, their high cost wasn’t practical. So, he found a better, significantly less expensive method: balance testing on a smartphone—a device that practically “everyone already owns.”
Curtiss and his team spent the next year developing an “amazing user experience that met the standards of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medical device.” In 2011, with an initial investment of $125,000, Sway was born.
What pain point/problem does your product alleviate?
According to Curtiss, “Sway is a quicker, easier, and more accurate way of administering reimbursable performance testing.” In short, Sway provides objective measures and high-level analytics outcomes ”in place of $20,000 force platforms.”
How do you see Sway being used? How will it change the nature of your industry?
Curtiss believes that clinicians will use Sway to statically and dynamically assess function in every patient. With the continual changes in reporting and documentation regulations (e.g., functional limitation reporting and PQRS), it is becoming more and more critical for providers “to objectively assess patients and develop longitudinal evidence of success.”
“In three to five years,” Curtiss asks, wouldn’t “you like to have objective and organized evidence of the improvements you make in your patients to better market your services?” Don’t “you want to gain leverage for reimbursement when further pay-for-performance metrics are implemented?” According to Curtiss, this is what Sway will provide. “The primary goal,” he says, “is to make outcome-centered health care affordable and easy for everyone.”
How does your background in exercise physiology influence the direction of the company?
Curtiss’s background in exercise physiology has helped shape the Sway product offerings, but he’s not alone. “Every Sway team member,” he says, “has a great passion for improving the healthcare system” and changing things so that the “value of each clinician is based upon his or her ability to treat patients and provide a high-level of care. Everyone’s background in our company brings an important element [that] drives how we do things.”
Your website says that you’re launching Sway this month (July 2013). Is that still the plan? Do you have an exact date?
The sports-focused Sway product line is officially live. According to Curtiss, it’s designed for “sideline evaluation of head injury, orthopedic injury screening or recovery tracking, and fatigue monitoring” in athletes. This fall, Sway will launch a customizable clinical version “that supports reporting and claim submission.
How much does Sway cost?
The Sway Sports Model is currently available for $199/year for an organization (one medical professional) and $49/year for additional medical professionals. According to Curtiss, “an organization with five qualified healthcare professionals (e.g., a physician, physical or occupational therapist, athletic trainer, nurse, and exercise physiologist) would pay $395/year.” Curtiss says that “the clinical version will be more robust and likely priced slightly higher,” but they have yet to set a price.
How much interest has your product generated pre-launch?
According to Curtiss, “Sway has seen a tremendous amount of interest.” The company has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Mobihealthnews, NFL Evolution, and ten to 15 other publications. “We have seen traffic on our website easily break 5,000 visitors a month in June and July,” he says.
What’s next for the Sway team?
Curtiss says that team’s focus is on “being a driving force in creating a better healthcare system that is centered on quality not quantity.” He believes they’ll achieve this “with good products that support great healthcare providers.”
Check out Sway first-hand here, and stay tuned to the WebPT blog to find out what other innovative products and companies we’re covering this month. Know of a product or company that we’ve missed? We’d love to hear about it. Leave us a message in the comments below.
P.S. These blogs posts are purely features of products, technologies, or services that we think are innovative. We are in no way reviewing or endorsing anything we feature.