A Temple Lung Center analysis shows that a digital health application for reporting symptoms of COPD facilitated early detection and treatment of exacerbation symptoms. As part of continuous quality improvement program, a Temple Lung Center team led by Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FAACP, conducted a 320-day assessment of patient compliance with daily COPD symptom reporting using a digital health application as well as the Lung Center’s ability to provide timely responses to worsening COPD symptoms, as reported by the digital application, according to Medical Xpress.

The digital health application enables patients to report their respiratory symptoms and peak flow measurements, which are converted to a symptom score by a computer algorithm. The score is then compared to the patients’ baseline metrics, and a score that exceeds the patients’ baseline metrics by a predetermined amount generates an alert that is conveyed to the patient and stored in the system for a nurse to review, as reported by Medical Xpress.

Based upon reported symptoms, the nurse suggests an evidence-based treatment recommendation and forwards it to a pulmonologist for approval. Once the pulmonologist signs off, the nurse transmits the recommendation to the patient via e-mail or text.

“Given a general lack of awareness among patients of small day-to-day symptom changes and the pace of symptom worsening in COPD, daily COPD telemonitoring is an attractive approach to facilitate early intervention, provided that the system is used and that the health care provider responds in a timely manner,” says Dr. Criner.

Criner adds, “Patient adherence to daily symptom reporting system using this application exceeded 90% for more than half of the participants, and 90% of worsening COPD symptom reports were responded to in less than 11 hours with patient-specific treatment recommendations. That’s substantially better than response times reported in recent COPD research literature.”

Michael R. Jacobs, PharmD, lead author of the analysis, says, “Early interventions for worsening COPD symptoms shortens their duration and reduces their severity. This digital health application is an example of how emerging technology can help facilitate early intervention and treatment by the health care team.”

Source: Medical Xpress