How can I work with Lytics in helping COPD patients?
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. Progressive means the disease gets worse over time. It can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust—also may contribute to COPD.
COPD brings many challenges; social, psychological and medical. COPD patients are often a neglected group and the limiting nature of the disease adds to the psychological and social challenges. Intermittent or constant dyspnea and the absence of a real cure make the outlook dismaying. Exacerbations, i.e. relapses when the patient gets worse and is hospitalized is a concern for both the patient and the community as it shortens the patient’s life and progress the disease as well as burdens the community’s resources. Comorbidities such as cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, and psychological disorders are commonly reported in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but with great variability in reported prevalence. This adds to the many complexities involved in COPD care.
By putting the patients in control of their situation they can manage their fear and the help combat social issues. A robust telemedicine infrastructure with added solutions like LYTICS LIN and LYTICS EIR is very appreciated by and recommended for this patient group. Extensive pilots in Scandinavia show outstanding patient satisfaction and return on investment for the healthcare.
Such solutions relieve patients’ anxiety by giving them very precise data driven daily recommendations how to manage their disease. Gathering data on a daily basis enables predictive and prescriptive analytics providing healthcare and the patient with a warning before a likely exacerbation. Patients are put on a triage and the healthcare can prioritize and apply preventive care accordingly. This frees up time to truly help patients and coach them into positive changes. The daily data gathering and journaling is useful in other aspects such as medical adherence, drug dosage optimization and for knowledge generation.
There have been no major breakthroughs in COPD medicine for decades and by capturing high dimensional data with high regularity, new insights into the complexities of the COPD can be expected. While disease management and amassing new and superior knowledge is of profound importance there are strong reasons to help smokers at an early age.
By including smokers early high dimensional longitudinal knowledge of the progression of COPD can be produced. Potentially this knowledge will lead to a greater knowledge when and how to help smokers avoid becoming future COPD patients. On a population level such work may bring health to generations to come.
What can COPD care look like in 2025?
In 2025 many of the consumer quantified self-movement sensors available today as mobiles or wearables have shifted to medical grade wearables and implantables. Activity levels will be tracked by next generation of accelerometers being way more precise and accurate than today. Such technology is more important for COPD patients than any other group as they are often limited in how they can exercise. Knowing that another 50 steps may make the difference from a relapse or maintaining status quo will be more helpful to patients than general exercise recommendations working for a diverse COPD population.
Already now we see progress in diet management solutions with extensive libraries of food to be incorporated into apps etc. In 2025 such solutions will be much more widespread and patients can simply scan a code in a restaurant or take a photo of their plate get the full nutritional properties of their meal.
Artificial intelligence solutions such as LYTICS SIF, LYTICS VÖR and LYTICS EIR will continue to monitor COPD patients 24/7/365 and provide recommendations several times per day. They will also relay specific knowledge when needed by pushing relevant articles and connecting patients with similar medical profiles for peer support.
The home testing market will explode until 2025 with small pods or health kiosks available for online testing, much like a photo booth or a telephone kiosk. Such solutions will be available in miniature versions at home for patients with severe COPD and also include specific sensors. One such example is a technology for capture of breath, VOC analysis, which will give hundreds of indications of the patient’s health. Each individual sensor or series of tests performed will not be the solution but the importance of all the collected data working together to provide the big picture.
The medical data will be uploaded to a data storage platform where artificial intelligence analytics can mine it and send the full report to the relevant healthcare provider. Depending on the urgency of the situation the patient will connect with the physician or nurse via chat or videoconference. Either the patient picks up the drugs on the way home or a delivery drone drops it in the secure drone box at the home or current location.