Minneapolis, Minnesota based Novu has been invited by Minnesota HealthSolutions Corporation (MHS) to partner in development of a digitally-delivered program to motivate and monitor people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic lower respiratory diseases, including COPD, are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In 2010, COPD claimed the lives of 134,676 people and total national medical costs attributable to COPD were estimated at $32.1 billion annually.
Like “cancer,” COPD is a term that encompasses a range of conditions, but generally speaking refers to permanent lung damage that worsens over time. The disease can affect patients’ airways, air sacs or both. The two most prevalent forms of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both cause airway blockage, resulting in shortness of breath, chronic productive coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, chest tightness and/or wheezing and other symptoms. Laboring to breathe can limit activity, diminish quality of life and put extra strain on the heart.
Ranking third in mortality (138,080) after heart disease (597,689) and cancers (574,743), COPD is flagged by the American Lung Association as a major cause of disability, with some 12 million Americans having a formal COPD diagnosis, and an estimated 12 million more estimated to have the disease undiagnosed, bringing the total to approximately 23 million men and women in the United States living with COPD. Many of these millions are unable to participate in a form of therapy called pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in a clinical setting.
The National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute describes pulmonary rehabilitation — also called pulmonary rehab or PR — as a broad program that helps improve the well-being of people who have chronic (ongoing) breathing problems, such as people who have COPD, sarcoidosis (sar-koy-DOE-sis), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or cystic fibrosis.
PR doesn’t replace medical therapy, but is rather complimentary and may include:
- Exercise training
- Nutritional counseling
- Education on your lung disease or condition and how to manage it
- Energy-conserving techniques
- Breathing strategies
- Psychological counseling and/or group support
PR involves a long-term commitment from the patient and a team of health care providers that usually includes doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians or nutritionists, and psychologists or social workers. PR often is an outpatient program based in a hospital or clinic, but some patients can if necessary receive PR in their homes, and the Novu/MHS collaboration will make that easier.
MHS, who had previously developed a protocol to safely allow PR in a patient’s home, will now work with Novu to deliver the program, which focuses on daily movement and monitoring patient health. COPD patients who exercise at even very low levels significantly lower their risk of hospital admission and mortality. In the next phase, the program will be tested in a controlled human study at the Mayo Clinic to determine its effectiveness at improving quality of life and increasing daily steps.
“The Novu platform is an ideal venue for bringing this essential treatment directly to patients,” says MHS President Sara Seifert. “The availability of technology-driven PR, with meaningful feedback to motivate and engage patients in their homes, addresses several critical barriers preventing widespread utilization of this important therapy. We are extremely pleased to partner with Novu in this patient-centric development.”
“COPD is a costly, debilitating disease for millions of Americans, and the delivery of effective treatment is ripe for innovation,” says Ali Shirvani-Mahdavi, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Programs, at Novu. “We believe that digital consumer tools can enable traditional protocols to work more efficiently in reaching patients, reducing hospital admissions and creating better outcomes. We are excited to partner with MHS and Mayo in this effort.”
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Novu is a scalable, flexible, collaborative SaaS-based consumer engagement platform designed to align members and the health care ecosystem through a unique approach to engagement. The company connects data and technology with programs, challenges, community and rewards to create unique, personalized health experiences that target outcomes for the health care system. Leveraging advanced campaign management, gamification and data-driven consumer insight, Novu cultivates new relationships and loyalty to achieve better health across the care continuum.
Novu delivers targeted, personalized health content, programs and incentives to consumers to facilitate health actions and decisions that encourage physical, emotional and financial health, which in turn helps insurers, providers and employers meet regulatory requirements, close care gaps and achieve health system quality goals through an outcome-based approach. Novu delivers cost-effective, ROI-driven tools to decrease costs and improve quality care. Available wherever consumers want to engage in managing their own health, the Novu platform delivers a connected experience via desktop, mobile and tablet.
Headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Minnesota HealthSolutions has been serving the medical and safety markets since 2006. MHS has grown into a provider of engineering design services, human study design services, and consulting epidemiology, focusing on development and evaluation of technology and other interventions in medical and safety markets affecting large populations, employing professional experts in engineering, epidemiology, and software development.
The Rochester, Minnesota based Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
American Lung Association