Kaia COPD app approved in Germany and covered by insurance
Smartphone app can help to manage breathing symptoms at home
Kaia Health’s smartphone app, designed to help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) manage their breathing symptoms at home, can now be prescribed by medical providers in Germany and is covered by statutory health insurance in that country, the company announced.
The app, called Kaia COPD, offers a pulmonary rehabilitation program to improve physical performance and quality of life for people with the chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs.
It now has been approved in Germany as part of the digital health application (DiGA) directory of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).
“The bar for approval by BfArM is exceptionally high and this approval is a testament to our commitment to both clinical excellence and developing solutions that enable easy access to care and are cost-effective,” Nigel Ohrenstein, president of Kaia Health, said in a press release.
The app’s availability in Germany follows its rollout last year in North America. According to the company, the Kaia COPD app is now available to more than 73 million patients across the globe.
The AMOPUR clinical trial (NCT04299165), conducted in Switzerland and Germany, assessed whether the app helped COPD patients to conduct physical and breathing exercises in their homes as part of a pulmonary rehabilitation routine.
Patients had finished an in-hospital pulmonary rehab program before enrolling. They then were randomly assigned to continue pulmonary rehabilitation with Kaia COPD or to move to standard care, with that group serving as controls.
Results collected after six months showed that patients assigned to the Kaia COPD app had significantly higher levels of physical activity when compared with patients in the control group. Symptom severity, including shortness of breath and fatigue, also lessened in those using the app compared with controls.
It is so critical for COPD patients to remain active to improve their health-related quality of life, and I am happy to see that Kaia COPD as an effective and convenient treatment option is now available to even more patients in the future.
“I see the effects of COPD on the quality of life of my patients every single day. Our research has shown that the Kaia COPD app helps sustain the positive effects of pulmonary rehabilitation,” said Rembert Koczulla, MD, a leading pulmonology specialist at the Schön Klinik Berchtesgadener Land, in Germany, and co-author of the study reporting data from the AMOPUR trial.
“It is so critical for COPD patients to remain active to improve their health-related quality of life, and I am happy to see that Kaia COPD as an effective and convenient treatment option is now available to even more patients in the future,” Koczulla said.
The efficacy of the Kaia COPD app also was demonstrated in a systematic data analysis conducted in Germany that involved 104 patients. This analysis demonstrated that, over the course of three months, patients using the app experienced significant improvements in health-related quality of life and physical performance.
“We will continue to deliver on our mission to make clinically proven, affordable solutions available to patients anywhere, anytime that will dramatically improve their quality of life,” Ohrenstein said.