A pair of Apple-based COPD apps launch–one for a major study, the other a patient aid

The COPD Foundation expects that its app StopCOPD, which is based on Apple’s ResearchKit framework, will enable a research study of COPD on a much more massive scale than previously possible.  “Now more than ever, technology has the power to link researchers and patients while significantly accelerating the way valuable information is collected,” said COPD Foundation CIO Vincent Malanga in a statement.  “By using the ResearchKit open source framework coupled with the technology infrastructure developed and deployed by DatStat, the StopCOPD app will help the COPD Foundation revolutionize the way we are engaging with research.”

The app includes surveys and educational information but it also requires active tasks that are detected by iPhone sensors to monitor aspects related to the disease including motor activities, fitness, cognition, and voice.  It is also designed to enable patients to compare their own personal data with the aggregate. The information can be accessed either via the app or an online portal.  The COPD Foundation app was developed with the Seattle-based company DatStat.

For its part, LifeMap Solutions has rolled out the app COPD Navigator, which was developed in concert with researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai–National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute.  The latter was recently formed via a partnership between Denver, CO-based National Jewish Health and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  LifeMap is a subsidiary of regenerative medicine company BioTime.  “Ongoing guidance and insight from care teams amplify the benefits gained from using self-management tools, which is why an effective mHealth solution has to cater to both patients and care teams to maximize value,” said Dr. Charles Powell, CEO of Mount Sinai–National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute, in a statement.  “With COPD Navigator, patients can easily share their self-reported health information with care teams to address exacerbations in their conditions at home under proper guidance, potentially preventing expensive emergency room visits or inpatient hospital stays,” he added.

The company expects to develop and deploy customized versions of the app for partners.  It has already had its first enterprise customer for the app for post-acute care company SuperCare Health.  It will launch this month as the branded SuperCare iBreathe app for COPD patients in its home healthcare program and integrate into its electronic health records system.  It is expected to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions, improve patient adherence to treatment and educate patients about better disease management.

“SuperCare Health has demonstrated that a high-touch and high-tech, unique approach to chronic care management truly helps COPD patients avoid hospital visits through better management of their condition,” said SuperCare Health CEO John Cassar.  “Our collaboration with LifeMap Solutions has empowered us to deliver the enhanced iBreathe app, the perfect mHealth complement to our COPD management programs.”

REFERENCE:  Fierce Medical Devices; 03 DEC 2015; Stacy Lawrence

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