VERITAS shows virtual assistant with clinical oversight as effective as traditional physical therapy

October 15, 2018 - VERA™, a virtual rehabilitation platform, also enabled a substantial reduction in costs and rehospitalizations.

The DCRI and Reflexion Health today announced positive results from a randomized controlled clinical trial, “Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation In-home Therapy: A Research Study (VERITAS).” VERITAS was designed to evaluate the cost and clinical non-inferiority of using a virtual rehabilitation platform to deliver physical therapy following total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. In the study, VERA™, Reflexion Health’s FDA-cleared Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation Assistant, with clinician oversight enabled a substantial reduction in post-acute costs and rehospitalizations while being as effective as traditional physical therapy.

Conducted independently by the DCRI, VERITAS is the first large-scale randomized controlled clinical trial that compares virtual physical therapy with traditional physical therapy.

Janet Bettger“Physical therapy is a critical component of recovery for patients following total joint replacement surgery. As people live longer and these surgeries become more common, it is important to identify solutions that maintain or improve outcomes while decreasing the burden on patients and providers,” said the DCRI's Janet Prvu Bettger, ScD, associate professor with the Duke Department of Orthopedic Surgery and principal investigator of the study. “We are pleased with the results of the study which show that Reflexion Health’s VERA coupled with remote clinician oversight, is a cost-effective paradigm for physical therapy – one that is more convenient for patients while providing clinicians greater insight into the recovery process.”

VERITAS was a multi-center, randomized controlled trial that enrolled 306 adult participants scheduled for TKR surgery at four U.S. sites. Of the consented participants, 287 completed the trial. The treatment group concluded with 143 adults who received Reflexion Health’s VERA both pre- and post-surgery, compared with a control group of 144 adults who received traditional in-home or clinic-based physical therapy at participating sites. Clinical outcomes, health service use, and costs were examined for three months after surgery.

The study results demonstrated an average cost savings of $2,745 per patient for those who received virtual physical therapy using VERA technology with clinical oversight when compared to usual care with traditional physical therapy. Virtual physical therapy met its secondary effectiveness endpoints of non-inferiority for reducing disability and improving knee function. Compared with usual care, safety endpoints for patients with virtual physical therapy were similar.

“VERITAS provides the highest level of evidence that VERA is a more cost-effective, patient-centered alternative to traditional care,” said Joseph Smith, MD, PhD, chief executive officer of Reflexion Health. “The strength of these results should give providers and payors the proof they need to adopt VERA. Engaging and delighting patients with a convenient and connected solution in the comfort of their own home, while providing similar or better clinical outcomes and dramatically reducing overall healthcare costs is a win for everyone.”

Full results from the VERITAS trial will be presented at the American Health Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons Annual Meeting taking place November 2-4 in Dallas.