A management tool for lower back pain from Madison-based Kiio helped reduce both medical costs and emergency department visits, according to a recent pilot study.

Participants in the study also had fewer injections, MRIs and filled opioid prescriptions than those without the Kiio application.

The pilot was done with Quartz Health Solutions, a health plan provider with 350,000 members in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.

Using claims data, Quartz had found lower back pain was consistently linked to higher medical utilization and costs. Kiio’s product for lower back pain was customized for this Quartz study, and labelled as MobileBack.

Starting in February last year, certain Quartz members with a history of such pain were invited to participate in the pilot for free. Members selected for participation had multiple visits for lower back pain in the past three years, and hadn’t had any physical therapy within the past year.

Participants could access the digital MobileBack program — which has three levels of exercise specific to certain types of pain — as well as virtual coaching with access to health coaches employed by Quartz. Read the full story here.