For this study, 190 patients with COPD were given access to Propeller’s digital health tool, which works by attaching a small sensor to a patient’s existing inhaler. Propeller collects data on medication use and sends medication reminders, progress reports and disease insights to the patient’s smartphone or hub, as well as reports to their doctor. The JenCare patients participated as part of the larger AIR Louisville program, which was a collaborative effort to address respiratory disease in Jefferson County, built on partnerships with Mayor Greg Fischer, multiple city agencies, an environmental institute, and local health systems, payers, employers and community groups.

JenCare study participants worked closely with their clinicians to enroll in the program. Clinicians then leveraged real-time data points from Propeller to recommend adjustments to their patients’ personalized care plans.

Patients were monitored over the course of 12 months. At three, six and 12 months, patients demonstrated significant reductions in daily rescue medication use and nighttime rescue medication use, as well as an increase in days without symptoms necessitating rescue use. Over the course of 12 months, daily use of rescue medication decreased by 59% and days without symptoms necessitating rescue use increased by 36%.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is predicted to become the number three cause of death globally by 2030. The disease is associated with progressive loss of lung function and has significant impacts on patients’ physical and mental well-being.

“COPD can have a devastating impact on the people it affects,” said Meredith Barrett, PhD, vice president of research at Propeller Health. “The use of a digital health tool to manage COPD can lift some of the burden of the disease and go a long way in improving day-to-day quality of life, particularly when clinicians and patients engage together with the data.”

Compared to previous studies, which have shown that digital health engagement may fall off after three months, this study showed 81% retention and 90% engagement in patients at the six-month mark, suggesting that digital health tools are particularly effective at keeping patients engaged long-term when a clinical care team is involved.

JenCare patients average 208 minutes yearly of face-to-face time with their primary care doctor, more than 10 times the national average, a level of interaction that may have enhanced patient compliance and study outcomes in this study.

“This program was able to minimize the burden on providers while maximizing patient engagement in their own care, leading to significantly better outcomes and a stronger alliance between patient and provider,” said Jessica Chen, MD, Chief Quality Officer at ChenMed. “Propeller helped COPD patients partner with their providers to better understand and manage their condition.”

Source: Company Press Release