For COPD Awareness Month this November, PMD Healthcare has just announced that it will be participating by having every member of the PMD team wear orange pins stating ‘ask me about COPD’, to heighten awareness for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
According to Richard J. Martin, MD, PMD advisor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at National Jewish Health, it is estimated that 15 million Americans suffer from COPD.
“Broader education, continued research and advocacy will help raise awareness to the signs and symptoms and improve earlier diagnosis,” Martin said in a press release.
Education could help reduce the costs of hospitalization for COPD patients and health services, which now surpasses $13 billion per year in the United States alone. In fact, one in five COPD patients is estimated to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after receiving discharge.
To do its part, the COPD Foundation is challenging its followers to #GoOrange for their new social media campaign, calling for participants to share creative photos of their friends and families wearing orange on their COPD-dedicated social network, COPD360social, and for everyone to vote for their favorite photo.
According to Martin, social media efforts as such are crucial to informing the public and spreading greater awareness, which he believes will decrease the number of COPD-related deaths in the process. In addition, Martin said that such efforts might lead to additional research efforts to improve patient care.
“Two major areas will improve outcomes. Education of patients and better home monitoring techniques to reinforce patient adherence and to alert the patient and physician to worsening of lung function before it becomes too severe, thus forcing the patient to an urgent care or emergency facility,” Martin added. “Modern technology is having a major impact on all fields of medicine. COPD remote monitoring holds promise for improving COPD patient’s quality of life, lung function, adherence to therapeutic programs, decreasing emergency care and hospitalization.”
According to the COPD Foundation, there are many ways you can get involved:
- By creating a profile on COPD360social.
- By participating in twitter discussions like #COPDChat, a discussion for providers to talk about management, resources and treatments; or #Voices4COPD, a discussion for patients and caregivers which will take place on November 18 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
- By Downloading the COPD Awareness Month social media toolkit, to inform and educate your social network about the#MeAndCOPD
- By participating in the Patient-Powered Research Network challenge to win $250.
- By attending the Air Affair Gala to Benefit the COPD Foundation or planning a local Breathe STRONG event, or
- By submitting your photo to the Faces of COPD digital mosaic, an online memorial for the millions of people affected by COPD which will be launched later in November on COPD360social.