High-risk COPD patients to receive remote monitoring in new initiative

Program is a collaboration between Propeller Health, UC Davis Health

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by Mary Chapman |

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A new remote monitoring program will offer personalized treatment to high-risk UC Davis Health patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The program is a collaboration between California-based UC Davis Health’s Operations Center of Excellence and precision digital health company Propeller Health. It will initially be offered to eligible UC Davis Health patients, but may be expanded to other University of California health systems. The goal is a large-scale care transformation through artificial intelligence automation, virtual care, digital monitoring, and cutting-edge technologies.

The program will be based on Propeller Health’s proprietary Digital Therapeutics platform, which has demonstrated improved patient outcomes and life quality in studies.

“Digital health devices and platforms are helping improve care for patients with chronic conditions, like COPD, by providing clinicians a more expansive view of our patients’ disease management,” Brooks Kuhn, MD, assistant professor of medicine and co-director of the Comprehensive COPD Clinic, said in a university press release. “This collaboration will help us improve the clinical outcomes of our COPD patients by identifying the need for interventions early so we can avoid serious exacerbations, preserve their lung function and improve their quality of life.”

The program includes an iOS or Android mobile application, web portal, and personalized reports. It uses sensors that attach to a patient’s inhaler to pick up signals that record events like respiration or medication usage. To support patient enrollment and remote monitoring, the data will be transmitted to UC Davis Health’s electronic health record (EHR) system.

EHR system integration will let clinicians track daily inhaler use, permitting them to monitor everyday therapies to maintain best lung function. Clinicians will also be apprised of rescue treatment usage, when a patient is short of breath and requires additional assistance.

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Remote monitoring program may help reduce hospital readmissions

“The rescue use will be key in alerting clinicians that the patient may be experiencing early signs of a COPD exacerbation,” said Krystal Craddock, UC Davis Health clinical operations manager for respiratory care. “We will then be able to reach out to these patients and treat them early, hopefully avoiding unnecessary emergency room visits or hospitalizations.”

Kuhn said these tools will help remove care impediments, underscore preventive care, and reduce hospital readmissions. A recent study consistently showed remote monitoring can lower hospitalization rates and emergency room visits for COPD patients.

“There are so many patients in our community that could benefit from a program like this and improve their clinical outcomes,” Kuhn said. “I appreciate all the hard work of our UC Davis information technology team, who helped integrate the Propeller platform with our EHR system so we can streamline workflows and efficiently put real-time data, alerts, and messaging in front of our clinicians.”

Last year, UC Davis Health’s Comprehensive COPD Clinic established the first remote patient monitoring program for high-risk COPD patients in the Sacramento, California region.

“Collaborating with UC Davis Health demonstrates our continued commitment to patients as well as physicians by providing care-connected journeys and actionable insights to better manage chronic conditions,” said Susa Monacelli, Propeller Health’s general manager.