The Signal: Nearly half (44%) of employers ranked musculoskeletal issues as the No. 1 condition impacting their healthcare costs, according to a 2019 study of nearly 150 large employers, while 85% said musculoskeletal issues were in the top 3. Half of Americans report back and joint pain, costing employers $100B+ annually. With many of these workers in crucial supply chain roles (factories, farming, package delivery, etc.), the potential cost of a breakdown is higher than ever before as countries navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

To address the issue at scale, companies are turning to digital musculoskeletal (MSK) solutions. Similar to mental wellness apps, digital MSKs offer a combination of education, guided practice, and telehealth services, making care more convenient and affordable for employees.

The Opportunity: Despite the high cost of inaction, less than 23% of employers currently offer a digital MSK solution, according to the Business Group on Health, which conducted the 2019 survey of large companies. That number is expected to more than double in the coming years, with an additional 38% of employers considering offering one by 2022. The companies surveyed managed a total of 15m employees, meaning millions of users in the US alone.

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