Digital health unicorn Hinge Health plans to acquire medical device maker Enso to expand its musculoskeletal therapy solutions.
Enso developed a noninvasive device shown in double-blind clinical trials to reduce pain by 56% and deliver clinically effective relief for 86% of patients without drugs or surgery, according to the company. Enso's device works by delivering a patented electrical stimulation treatment that relaxes the muscles and calms the nerves and is controlled via an app on smartphones.
The company's device is being used to solve chronic and acute pain at over 100 medical centers in the U.S. such as Stanford, Harvard and Cedars-Sinai.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hinge Health offers a digital platform that uses wearable sensors and one-on-one health coaching to deliver in-home MSK therapy. It developed a digital MSK clinic to treat back and joint pain with dedicated programs for different patients' needs, from early-stage prevention, acute pain, chronic pain or surgical rehabilitation.
The digital MSK startup recently banked a $300 million "heavily oversubscribed" series D round that pushed its valuation to $3 billion, according to the company. Hinge Health is eyeing a potential initial public offering in 2022.
The company has raised $426 million to date, according to Crunchbase.
The acquisition of Enso will expand the company's digital clinic to include a new tool for MSK pain.
In the past, non-invasive forms of electrical stimulation delivered low-frequency impulses that provided limited pain relief. In contrast, high-frequency pulse devices deliver more immediate and long-lasting pain relief, but historically have needed surgical implantation. Enso’s proprietary breakthrough is in being both high-frequency and noninvasive, delivering non-addictive pain relief within seconds, according to a Hinge Health press release.
“Combining Hinge Health’s digital MSK clinic with Enso’s non-invasive high-frequency impulse technology opens a new world of pain management. Now Hinge Health’s members can access the same clinically effective solution we’ve recommended to thousands of our own patients,” said Amitabh Gulati, M.D., director of the Chronic Pain Fellowship at the Cornell Weill School of Medicine and president of the World Academy of Pain Medicine.
In any given year, 50% of adults will seek treatment for persistent MSK pain, with mixed results.
Among the thousands who have already used the Hinge Health Enso, nearly 9 in 10 experienced clinically significant pain relief, with each person experiencing an average 56% reduction in pain.
“Enso’s immediate, clinically validated pain relief complements our existing motion sensor technology and comprehensive clinical team," said Jeffrey Krauss, M.D., chief medical officer at Hinge Health, in a statement.
Four in five employers and health plans with a digital MSK solution partner with Hinge Health, according to the company.
The Hinge Health Enso is particularly suited to help members avoid elective surgery and unnecessary opioid prescriptions, the company said.
Enso's wearable pain management solution is completely wireless and can be worn anywhere on the body, even during exercise. It has been shown to help members on long-term leave return to work sooner and is already covered for workers’ compensation–related claims.
“We’ve spent almost a decade developing Enso’s high-frequency impulse technology to deliver unparalleled, non-invasive pain relief. It’s so exciting to work with Hinge Health to advance our original mission to offer this technology to the millions of people in need of relief,” said Shaun Rahimi, Enso founder and CEO.
The MSK is attracting new digital health players and investments. Sword Health recently scored a $25 million financing round, and Kaia Health banked a $26 million funding round in June.
DarioHealth, a digital chronic condition management company, said it would expand into the market this month by acquiring Upright Technologies for $31 million. Meanwhile, in May 2020, Omada Health also invested in virtual MSK care by adding virtual physical therapy company Physera to its platform in a deal valued at a reported $30 million.