LifeMap Solutions, an emerging digital therapeutics provider launched a pilot program for COPD Navigator, an Apple HealthKit-compliant iOS app that helps patients monitor and manage the symptoms of COPD.

Developed in close partnership with researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and with COPD experts from the Mount Sinai – National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute, COPD Navigator harnesses the power of mHealth (mobile health) technology and big data analysis to provide COPD patients with an engaging, interactive coach in their pocket. A patient’s doctor specifies the app’s settings and communications. During the pilot program, physicians at The Respiratory Institute will work with patients who use the COPD Navigator iPhone app with the goal of improving their self-management of COPD.

“Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease—COPD—is the third leading cause of death in the US, and it affects an estimated 24 million Americans. But patients can slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life through effective self-management,” said Corey Bridges, CEO of LifeMap Solutions. “The promise of the mHealth revolution is to empower patients with self-management tools that are engaging and easy to use. COPD Navigator is the first product in our suite of chronic-condition apps, which fulfill that promise.”

“We’ve worked with the LifeMap team to help them design an app that leverages evidence-based care guidelines, behavioral science, and patient data to deliver personalized information with the purpose of achieving better outcomes at lower costs,” said Charles Powell, MD, CEO of Mount Sinai – National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute. “As physicians, our goals throughout product development were to help LifeMap produce a product that integrates easily into a care team’s workflow and to maximize benefit to patients.”

COPD Navigator: First Component of Disease Management Platform

COPD Navigator tracks patient data that includes symptoms, medication and treatment adherence, and overall quality of life. This information is presented in an easy-to-understand and configurable graph that empowers the patient to recognize patterns in their own health history, as well as to send this information to their doctor. Additionally, the app helps patients avoid environmental risk factors by providing real-time alerts about local air quality and extreme weather, and it delivers educational content from leading respiratory hospital, National Jewish Health.

The COPD Navigator app is the first component of LifeMap’s larger COPD management platform, which also includes Bluetooth-enabled inhaler technology and a clinician dashboard for care providers. Through its support for Apple’s HealthKit technology, COPD Navigator accepts inhaler usage information from any HealthKit-compliant, Bluetooth-enabled, “smart” inhaler device. In the pilot program at Mount Sinai, LifeMap Solutions is providing a smart device of its own design, allowing the app to know automatically when the patient has used their inhaler. This inhaler-usage information helps the app track medication adherence and identify potential environmental and behavioral triggers of exacerbations, which are episodes in which COPD symptoms suddenly get much worse. Identifying trends and individual triggers can help patients improve the overall quality of their health and avoid circumstances that worsen their condition.

The other major component of LifeMap’s COPD platform, the clinician dashboard for care providers, is a HIPAA-compliant tool that offers a view of the health status of their patient populations. Providers can also examine a specific patient’s record to see that patient’s care plan adherence and symptoms over time. They can flag high-risk patients, set rules for events-based alerts, and intervene early with the goal of reducing the risk of acute exacerbations. The clinician dashboard also enables care providers to send health alerts and reminders to their patients.

Leveraging Big Data to Unlock New Findings

As part of the company’s partnership with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, LifeMap Solutions is working with the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology to provide unprecedented amounts of secure, anonymized data to facilitate ongoing research into COPD and other medical conditions. The team plans to use this data to develop algorithms for predicting exacerbations, identifying effective interventions, and personalizing care plans based on demographics, lifestyle, and clinical history. In addition to COPD Navigator, LifeMap Solutions plans to release more apps to address other chronic diseases in the near future.

“The analysis of the health outcomes and data captured from mHealth apps and devices informs the development of an expanded disease management platform,” said Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai. “This platform provides a comprehensive solution for treatment of chronic diseases, including further opportunities for clinician engagement with patients.”

The COPD Navigator app is expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2015.