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active Assessment

Virtual Musculoskeletal (MSK) Solutions

Evidence Protocol Published

Last Updated

April 3, 2024


Musculoskeletal (MSK) Care


PHTI is conducting an evaluation of virtual musculoskeletal (MSK) care solutions, for adults with conditions ranging from low back to knee, hip, shoulder, and neck pain.

Area overview

An estimated one in two adults in the United States is affected by a musculoskeletal condition, and according to a 2023 national survey of large employers, musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are the second largest driver of healthcare costs behind cancer care. Physical therapy is well proven to improve pain and function, resulting in better outcomes for many MSK conditions. Digital solutions have the potential to improve convenience, adherence, and early adoption of physical therapy, potentially avoiding higher-cost treatment.

Virtual MSK solutions aim to deliver many of the same benefits of in-person physical therapy through enhanced access to a virtual platform with the convenience of participating at home on patients’ own schedules. A key question for purchasers is whether virtual MSK solutions improve health outcomes and lower costs.

PHTI seeks to answer these questions to encourage future investment in solutions that deliver meaningful benefits to patients.

Why assess virtual MSK care solutions?


November 2023

Assessment Area Brief

Assessment area brief for PHTI’s assessment of virtually-enabled musculoskeletal (MSK) care tools.

November 2023

Virtually-Enabled Musculoskeletal (MSK) Care Methodology Overview (Presentation with Audio)

A review of PHTI protocol for systematic literature review of clinical impact.

October 2023

Systematic literature review of virtual physical therapy among patients with musculoskeletal disorders

International prospective register of system reviews (PROSPERO), National Institute for Health and Care Research

Next steps

PHTI is preparing to complete this assessment for release in 2024.


Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about opportunities to provide input on this assessment.

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Read an overview of our assessment Approach and Framework

View assessment framework

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