The Aerobika device, developed by Monaghan Medical Corporation (MMC), is effective in reducing drug use and costs for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a presentation at the recent American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) annual meeting in Los Angeles.
The Aerobika Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP), a drug-free device that uses a proprietary pressure-oscillation dynamic, offers intermittent resistance, positive pressure, and oscillation at the same time. The device releases and clears mucus from airways.
COPD is characterized by excessive mucus in the airways that causes breathing problems. When mucus clogs the lungs, bacterial infections can develop. In severe cases, it leads to exacerbation, hospitalization, and even death.
COPD affects more than 24 million people in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COPD costs nearly $36 billion annually in medicine, hospital admissions, and lost work time. The current recommended COPD treatment for acute exacerbations includes antibiotics and oral corticosteroids (OCS).
The study presented at the CHEST meeting, part of a larger study, compared 405 COPD patients who used the Aerobika device in addition to regular COPD medications (antibiotics or oral OCS) to a group of 405 people with the disease who did not use the device with their COPD treatment.
In a larger retrospective study, the results showed a 28% reduction in COPD exacerbations within 30 days of treatment when the device was used with COPD medications.
In the new study, researchers analyzed data six months post-COPD exacerbation and found that COPD patients who used Aerobika in addition to their COPD medication, had a 57% reduction in the use of antibiotics and an 89% reduction in the use of OCS, compared to COPD patients who did not use the device.
Researchers noted that less need for antibiotics and OCS may have resulted from better disease control by patients who used the Aerobika device.
Results also showed that COPD patients who used the device reflected significantly lower costs during the study — an average reduction per patient of $6,347 at 30 days, and $9,936 at six months. The reductions refer to all in-patient and out-patient hospital costs.
“One of our major goals in developing the Aerobika device was to safely improve patient outcomes,” Dominic Coppolo, vice president of clinical strategy and development at Monaghan Medical, said in a news release. “These real-world findings are encouraging as we continue to conduct additional studies to further demonstrate the impact of our device in this high risk patient population.”
The Aerobika device earned a gold medal at the Medical Design Excellence Awards in 2014. The award recognizes innovative medical devices that improve patient care and quality of life.