Boehringer and Sutter Health Collaborate on COPD Patient Care

Boehringer and Sutter Health Collaborate on COPD Patient Care

Boehringer Ingelheim and the not-for-profit network of hospitals, Sutter Health, established a five-year partnership focused on research and healthcare innovation, which will begin focusing on the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Through the collaborative agreement, the new partners will work on developing and studying digital health solutions, mobile technologies and the use of data analytics in healthcare.

Boehringer Ingelheim and Sutter Health aim to combine research from the biopharmaceutical company and expertise from the healthcare system in novel therapies to address unmet medical needs. The initial project is expected to increase collaboration between physicians and patients who suffer from COPD in order to enhance personalized care and address the unique needs and preferences of the patients.

“Ultimately, we all want to help patients reduce COPD symptoms and live healthier lives,” stated the chief research officer for Sutter Health, Walter “Buzz” Stewart, PhD, MPH. “We believe that innovative technologies can help us develop a deeper understanding of patient needs, values, and care preferences—and create more time during office visits for doctors and patients to partner toward improved health outcomes.”

With the first collaborative project, the companies expect to create a reliable electronic system for data collection, based on tablets or kiosks, that connect patients directly to their medical records at all health appointments. In addition, the partners also aim to facilitate the communication between healthcare professionals and patients on therapeutic options through the provision of novel technological means, as well as to strengthen the partition of the decision-making process with resource to visual displays and other technologies.

“Re-designing the patient experience by seamlessly integrating key technologies, applications, and analytical insights has the potential to fundamentally enhance care for our patients with COPD,” expressed the director of Research, Development, and Dissemination at Sutter Health, Joshua N. Liberman, PhD. “We will work with our pulmonologists, patients and Boehringer Ingelheim to design, develop, and test the most promising ideas for use broadly with our and others’ patients.”

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“For more than a century, Boehringer Ingelheim has led the industry in bringing innovative medicines to patients,” added the executive director and head of Business Innovation at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ruchin Kansal. “By joining forces with Sutter Health, we hope this collaboration will provide new insights into unmet needs in care delivery and inform development of new resources for patients. We are excited to launch the first such initiative in COPD, a therapeutic area where Boehringer Ingelheim has been an industry leader for more than two decades.”

Boehringer announced last January the nationwide retail availability of prescription SPIRIVA RESPIMAT (tiotropium bromide) Inhalation Spray for long-term, once-daily maintenance treatment of bronchospasm associated with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The announcement was made little after the approval granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while the company’s leading COPD maintenance therapy, Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder), remain available despite the newly released inhalation spray product.


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