Managing COPD: Challenges and Strategies

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) depicts a substantial worldwide health challenge that manifests itself as enduring respiratory symptoms and restricted airflow, leading to issues like shortness of breath. Since COPD is a crucial public health concern, it is essential to grasp the aspects of COPD. This understanding is of importance in effectively managing COPD, considering its impact on the healthcare system, both at the level of individual patient care and on a global scale.
Hospitalizations for acute exacerbations significantly contribute to both the health status decline and a substantial portion of healthcare expenditures associated with COPD. With the aim of reducing hospitalizations and the financial burden that comes along with it, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have promoted remote patient monitoring for chronic disease management, especially targeting COPD.
In the following, we will try to give you an insight of how that might look like and what benefits the integration of this may bring. The study introduces the concept of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) using a monitor specifically designed for COPD patients. How does RPM work then? The system that was used for the study includes wearable sensors, an in-home hub, and a web-based clinical dashboard, that enables a continuous monitoring of respiratory parameters of the COPD patient. Meanwhile, the contact persons monitor the dashboard, receiving notifications for deviations in respiratory and pulse rates. One can also speak of a risk assessment protocol, that is implemented 24-48 hours after notification to evaluate patients' condition, with potential escalation to in-person or virtual visits.
Is this really a promising way of reducing the burden on the healthcare system? The findings of the study are proof that it is, as they reveal a significant reduction in hospitalizations associated with the initiation of RPM. Potential mechanisms that enable this result include early treatment for exacerbations, proactive engagement with subjects, and increased compliance with practices. Other than the success rate, a high rate of sticking to wearable RPM devices was also observed, as the devices are easy to use. Just like every empirical research, the study acknowledges limitations, such as behavioral changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, potential selection bias, and the absence of randomization.
However, despite limitations, it is a fact that the study did offer evidence of improved clinical outcomes, which is nothing but a call for further investigation into the potential benefits of RPM for COPD management. The ability of RPM is not limited to reducing acute care utilization, but it also enhances long-term COPD management positions, as it is a promising way for improving patient outcomes and optimizing healthcare resource allocation.
Overall, it can be concluded that the study provides evidence supporting the effectiveness of RPM in reducing hospitalizations and improving the long-term management of COPD. While recognizing its limitations, the results suggest the potential benefits of RPM in chronic disease management and emphasize the importance of further research in this area.
Managing COPD is indeed a complex effort, involving various challenges and recommended treatments. The effectiveness of COPD management is not only measured by improving patients' quality of life but also by easing the burden on healthcare systems. Therefore a holistic approach, which includes personalized treatment, emphasis on symptom control, and preventing exacerbations, is crucial. This is why Breathment’s aim is to reduce hospitalizations and readmissions through continuous and personalized therapy. The Breathment Therapy App provides a practical and consolidated option for the preventive treatment of COPD, allowing patients to carry out their prescribed exercises conveniently at home. Book an appointment with Breathment now to let us make managing your COPD symptoms easier for you.