Novu today announced it has been tapped by Minnesota HealthSolutions Corporation(MHS) to partner in the development of a digitally-delivered program to motivate and monitor people with COPD. Many of the millions of people affected by COPD are not able to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in a clinical setting, and the program, delivered through the Novu platform, will enable them to complete home exercise more easily. The program will be evaluated in a controlled human study at the Mayo Clinic.

According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic lower respiratory diseases, including COPD, are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In 2010, COPD claimed the lives of 134,676 people and the total national medical costs attributable to COPD were estimated at $32.1 billion dollars annually. In 2011, 12.7 million US adults were estimated to have COPD.

PR is a treatment program for people with COPD and is considered an essential component of care. MHS had previously developed the protocol to safely allow PR in the patient home, and will work with Novu to deliver the program, which focuses on daily movement and monitoring patient health. COPD patients who exercise at even very low levels significantly lower their risk of hospital admission and mortality. In the next phase, it will be tested in controlled human study at the Mayo Clinic to determine its effectiveness at improving quality of life and increasing daily steps.

“The Novu platform is an ideal venue for bringing this essential treatment directly to patients,” according to Sara Seifert, President at MHS. “The availability of technology-driven PR, with meaningful feedback to motivate and engage patients in their homes, addresses several critical barriers preventing widespread utilization of this important therapy. We are extremely pleased to partner with Novu in this patient-centric development.”

“COPD is a costly, debilitating disease for millions of Americans, and the delivery of effective treatment is ripe for innovation,” said Ali Shirvani-Mahdavi, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Programs, at Novu. “We believe that digital consumer tools can enable traditional protocols to work more efficiently in reaching patients, reducing hospital admissions and creating better outcomes. We are excited to partner with MHS and Mayo in this effort.”