According to a peer-reviewed clinical study published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, an artificial intelligence (AI) app successfully reduced COPD symptoms, developer Kaia Health reports.

The Kaia COPD app combines physiotherapy, psychosocial support and patient education, resulting in effective and affordable pulmonary rehabilitation in the comfort of a patient’s home, according to Kaia Health.

The peer-reviewed, clinical pilot study found that users who completed 20 therapy days with the Kaia COPD app had a clinically significant benefit in their Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) scores compared to their baseline values. After this short period, the digital intervention improved their scores in other areas, including emotion, mastery, and fatigue. This suggests that a multidisciplinary digital treatment can contribute to improvements in important areas of successfully self-managing COPD after a short course.

The Kaia COPD app includes:

  • Video-based AI physiotherapy which offers exercises to help patients build muscle and promote a healthy cardiovascular system, while a machine learning algorithm adjusts the support based on each patient’s disease profile.
  • Psychosocial support provides audio-based relaxation exercises to manage anxiety and depression. Patients can also contact a coach via the app who will answer app-specific questions and offer motivation.
  • Patient Education, covering topics ranging from breathing and coughing techniques to nutrition and the impact of air pollution, is also provided.
  • Medication tracking alerts the patient when medication is due with video instructions to perfect the inhalation technique for all commonly prescribed inhalers, a necessity as up to 60% of COPD patients do not adhere to their medication correctly.

“The Kaia COPD app has the potential to improve the management of COPD patients either living in remote areas with limited access to conventional pulmonary rehabilitation or where pulmonary rehabilitation is minimal or absent,” said Dr Frank Rassouli of the Hospital St Gallen, Switzerland, who co-authored the research. “The app complements any other COPD treatment as it empowers patients to better manage their disease in all areas.”

The Kaia COPD app is currently only available in German but the company expects to have an English translation available soon.