Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and obstructive bronchiolitis, causes airway flow blockage and breathing problems. COPD is denoted by life-threatening flare-ups, or exacerbations, where symptoms temporarily worsen causing emergency (re)hospitalization, and places patients under constant threat of respiratory breakdown.
It is estimated that 30 million Americans and 320 million worldwide suffer from COPD. Annual associated costs in the USA amount to $52.4 billion, while those in the European Union total $45.4 billion. COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide (estimated 3.23 million deaths in 2019) and the fourth leading cause of death in lower- and middle-income countries. Deaths are projected to increase to over 6 million by 2060. The occurrence of COPD ranges from 8% to 20% worldwide and is the only disease with increasing death rates, rising by 16% since 2002. The prevalence of COPD in individuals 65 years of age and older is estimated to be 14.2% (11 to 18%) compared with 9.9% (8.2 to 11.8%) in those 40 years or older. A different study found a higher prevalence of COPD; using Global Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification to determine the severity of COPD in the United States, the prevalence of GOLD grade 2 (moderate) or higher is 1.9% in individuals 40 to 49 years of age compared with 19.2% in those older than 70 years. A twofold increase in the prevalence of COPD is commonly observed for every 10-year increment in age. However, the exact occurrence of COPD in the U.S. (and worldwide) is believed to be underestimated. This is largely due to the fact that it is an underdiagnosed (thus undertreated) disease, because most patients do not seek medical care until the disease is in a late stage. As such, existing data on COPD prevalence are inconsistent around the world, and in many geographic regions data is scarce or even non-existent. This leads to poor implementation of adequate preventive and therapeutic interventions to reduce the high burden and costs of COPD.
According to a geographical pulmonologist accessibility study, 12,392 pulmonologists were practicing in the USA in 2013. Among them, 92.9% were located in urban areas, 5.0% practiced in urban clusters and 2.1% practiced in rural areas. Looking at their spatial availability, within 10 miles at least one pulmonologist was available to only 38.3% of those living in urban clusters and 34.5% of those living in rural areas, while 79.7% of the population in urbanized areas had access to a lung specialist. Furthermore, in remote areas with a pulmonologist within 50 miles, the ratio of adults with COPD reached to ≥ 6,720 per pulmonologist. Conversely, according to the American Medical Association, there are currently 5,106 pulmonary disease physicians actively practicing in the U.S. This significantly increases the patient to doctor ratio and undeniably has a negative impact on the quality of care provided to the millions of COPD patients, as many must refer to a general practitioner to receive treatment.
The severity of the debilitating health, social and economic consequences of COPD make it imperative to implement and deploy policies which will decrease costs across healthcare. Enabling remote patient monitoring from the comfort of one’s home can ultimately relieve the burden associated with COPD. The ability to monitor vital signs remotely can assist in detecting deterioration of respiratory health before symptoms occur. This can be a tremendous asset for COPD patients as many suffer from comorbidities such as, cardiovascular disease, asthma, sleep apnea, anxiety and more. COPD is also a recognized risk factor for multiple costly chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and depression.
Within the complexities and challenges of the current environment, Neteera offers a frictionless, empowering management platform providing clinical grade parameters in real time that are transmitted to care givers.
Real time monitoring of vital signs in managing COPD enables early detection of exacerbations and timely interventions to avoid readmission to hospitals and improve the health status and quality of life for COPD patients. Neteera 130 is intended to monitor patients on a continuous basis and to potentially flag any deterioration to the patient’s physician – helping prevent complications.
Neteera’s solution is designed to address the following issues: no need for the patient to actively check him/herself (reduce compliance and involvement issues), no need for the patient to connect to the device every time (no need for support, and reduced technical and connectivity issues), no need for technology acceptance by the patient as there is no need to actively deal with the technology and can maintain a normal routine. Above all – continuous and frictionless monitoring that can greatly contribute to improving the patient’s status and to timely detection of exacerbations and avoidance of hospitalization.
Neteera offers seamless and continuous patient monitoring, with no patient involvement, a long sought-after solution that will significantly simplify understanding of patient status, and reduce patient stress levels and cost. Our solution involves a simple one-time set-up and straightforward data display. Patients are thus able to freely engage in their health state, while providers can monitor and be informed in any status change, thereby providing the long-awaited continuum of personalized care.