Professors from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have recently launched two new online resources. One is designed to provide patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and their caregivers information and support, while the other is meant as a professional education resource for physicians and allied medical professionals to be able to administer top quality PH healthcare. COPD refers to a group of incurable lung diseases that causes a progressive decline in lung function. It is estimated to affect over 13.5 million U.S. residents, and is ranked as the third main cause of mortality in the country.
According to Dr. Sandra G. Adams, one of the content creators of the “Animated COPD Patient: An Animated Patient’s Guide to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” website, patients and caregivers dealing with COPD will have free access to comprehensive but easy-to-understand education on the disease. This fosters more efficient self-management and a smoother working relationship between patients and health providers, as more knowledge equates to keener awareness and a more open dialogue. Patients will also have access to information on available treatment options they can discuss with their physician. Dr. Antonio R. Anzueto, Dr. Adams’ fellow professors of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine at the Health Science Center, co-created the website content.
The Animated COPD Patient site was made possible by the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower and Prime Medic, Inc., together with the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine. The website was supported by an unrestricted grant from pharmaceutical giant, Boehringer Ingelheim.
The patient-friendly website also features videos on the disease’s signs and symptoms, its risk factors, diagnostics, complications, and up-to-date information on available treatments, ongoing clinical trials, and a database of other useful references. Through this website, COPD patients can learn how best to manage their condition at their own pace and focus on issues most relevant to them.
Professionals seeking to learn more about COPD can access WipeCOPD, which features content created by Dr. Adams through the Wipe Diseases Foundation. WIPE stands for “Web-based Interactive Professional Education”, and offers an interactive, convenient online resource for healthcare professionals. While the previous website was free to access, WipeCOPD offers unlimited access for a whole year to allied medical professionals for $100. The same is offered to physicians, plus continuing education credits for $150 yearly. Group access rates are also available by request through [email protected] or by dialing 210-382-3902.
WipeCOPD was funded by the “GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Scholar Award in Respiratory Care” educational grant from the Chest Foundation. Dr. Adams said that the website’s proceeds will go to the creation of more online resource websites on other respiratory ailments.