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Breathing easier: How digital therapeutics and remote patient monitoring improve asthma management

November 27, 2023
Business Affairs

Luckily for patients with diabetes, there have been great strides in using connected glucose monitors and insulin pens to improve patients’ ability to properly monitor their blood sugar properly and self-deliver the right dose of medication when needed. Now, there is an opportunity to do the same for patients with pulmonary diseases, with the introduction of digital therapeutics for asthma and COPD.

These solutions are showing great promise in helping patients. Connected pulse oximeters allow patients to monitor their oxygen saturation levels, and new Digital Inhalers take asthma management a step further by supporting improvements in techniques used to administer medication, which ultimately improves the efficacy of the treatments and decreases adverse effects of the disease. One recent study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, compared the use of standard inhalers to digital inhalers that worked in conjunction with a smartphone app and digital health platform. After three months, patients using the digital inhaler had more than an 85% chance of achieving improvement in asthma control vs. the use of a traditional inhaler.

Proactive care through easy access to remote patient data
Improvement in pulmonary disease control when using digital therapeutics can be attributed to real-time insights that are generated, which give both patients and their clinicians the ability to make adjustments when they’re most impactful. With these tools, patients can see their progress and when they may be outside of normal ranges. As mentioned above, this isn't just a tool for better self-management, clinicians can see this data as well in between their patients' in-clinic visits, and more easily detect patients who may be at the highest risk for complications, and proactively intervene before the disease progresses or emergency care is needed.

The key to clinician intervention is integrating the data generated by the digital therapeutics devices into the daily workflow. Not only should the patient-generated data be viewable within the workflow, but care teams should also have the ability to configure alerts, filter and risk stratify based on those alerts so clinicians take a proactive approach to address immediate concerns. It is also critical that remote, patient-generated data should appear within patients’ EHRs so clinicians have context about other health information, test results, lab work and notes for a holistic view of the patient’s health. This data should also be able to fuel clinical decision support with regard to implementing treatment guidelines and escalation of therapy.

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