Aeri Health, a medical technology company, along with the Lung Association, an organization dedicated to promoting health information and proper care for lung health in Canada through its Breathing as One fundraising campaign, have announced a partnership and the launch of a mobile app called the Aeri COPD app, which is available on iTunes.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (data from a 2011 survey), in 2009-2010, 772,200 Canadians 35 or older were diagnosed with COPD, with 45% reporting fair or poor health and 33% reporting worsening of health status over a year. COPD is the number one cause for hospitalization in Canada.
The Aeri COPD app was developed by Aeri Health through its app platform that targets several chronic diseases, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, BC Children’s Hospital and the Child and Family Research Institute, with support from Grand Challenges Canada. The app will allow patients to track symptoms and medication adherence through their phones, save treatment schedules and overall monitoring of lifestyle choices that can be potentially harming their health status. It will include clinically relevant questionnaires to keep track of symptoms, well-being and behavioral trends that can posteriorly be identified as triggers for exacerbations.
All this health information is stored in the phone and can be shared with a clinician and other health personnel in order to improve clinical decisions, treatment scheduling, and areas in the patient’s life that need improvement, in order to improve overall health status. Importantly, the app features medication reminders, which will address a major concern in COPD patients, as Dr. J. Mark FitzGerald, Professor of Medicine and Head of UBC’s Respiratory Division explains in a press release: “Unfortunately many COPD patients take as little as 40% of their prescribed medications, which impacts their ability to manage their symptoms but more importantly makes them more likely to have exacerbations.”
The app is part of a COPD management platform that will be launched by the company this year. It is comprised of a premium subscription service for Aeri COPD and a mobile pulse oximeter, allowing patients to monitor and store their blood oxygen level and heart rate. A part of the sales will be donated to The Lung Association’s Breathing as One Campaign for Lung Research.
Vincent Lum, President and CEO of Aeri Health said of the announcement in a press release: “Aeri COPD acts like a mobile health coach, empowering individuals to take a more active role in managing their health and improving their quality of life. COPD usually requires attention and treatment correction more frequently than can be covered through routine visits to a care provider. Aeri COPD provides immediate information to caregivers and can help fill the gaps between doctor visits, providing ways for patients to provide accurate information on the state of their health to the doctor, so the physician can provide the most appropriate level of care to manage the condition.”