News Feature | July 18, 2014

Smartphone App Reigns In COPD Treatment

By Karla Paris

COPD Smartphone App

Mobile health technology deployment enables various treatment options to control costs and improve patient care.

The Arizona Care Network is a physician-led, physician-governed accountable care organization and clinically integrated network that fosters collaboration and improved quality through shared resources. It is a collaboration of Dignity Health, Abrazo Health, and Phoenix Children's Hospital and comprises some 10 hospitals, more than 2,300 acute care physicians, and more than half of the state's patient-centered medical home models.

In an effort to enhance its patient care, the Arizona Care Network announced that it is now providing its patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) the ability to electronically transmit their condition to clinicians for effective COPD control via a connected device.

The solution being deployed throughout the Arizona Care Network is called Propeller, is a small device that attaches to the top of the patient’s existing inhaler. This device tracks a patient’s medication use for them with a record of the time and place they used their inhaler. The objective data it collects along with the feedback can help patients better understand and manage their asthma or COPD.

Experts recommend that people with asthma and COPD keep track of their symptoms, triggers, and use of medications. However, remembering to update your diary is tough and often becomes an inaccurate and incomplete record of your respiratory health over time.

A patient’s Propeller data can be easily shared with physicians in the Arizona Care Network allowing patients the ability to review the data with their clinicians during office visits. Physicians have the ability to use the information to remotely monitor symptoms and determine when a change in therapy may be needed.

The use of mobile health technologies enables a variety of treatment options – ranging from daily therapy to early intervention that ideally prevents emergencies. Helping Asthma sufferers manage their condition can save healthcare costs by preventing visits to the hospital and allowing sufferers to control their condition while maintaining quality of life.

Asthma is big business and an even bigger problem for those people that have it, especially those who don’t have their disease diagnosed or managed properly. Only one of five people with Asthma currently has the disease under control. There are roughly 5000 deaths, 2 million emergency room visits, 500,000 hospitalizations, and more than 27 million missed days of school and work each year due to this respiratory disease.