Emiliano Fabris, Paolo Soda, Mario Merone, Maurizio Secci
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a pathologic condition of the respiratory system characterized by chronic, persistent and progressive intrathoracic airway obstruction. COPD is currently the 4th leading cause of death worldwide. COPD is often aggravated by acute episodes called exacerbation and this represents the first leading cause of hospitalization and death. Early diagnosis of acute COPD exacerbations is problematic because patients tend to underestimate the symptoms and delay seeking medical attention.
BPCOmedia has developed an innovative medical device based on a predictive algorithm that, by processing data acquired from an oximeter, is capable of identifying the pattern of alterations occurring in the pre-clinical phase of the disorder (before the symptoms appear). This approach makes it possible to prevent acute COPD exacerbations with benefits both for patients and the national healthcare system which sees a reduction in spending.
The product developed by BPCOmedia is composed of a Bluetooth finger pulse oximeter, and an app for smartphone - a CE-class IIa certified medical device - that incorporates the predictive algorithm, the access code to the app's services and access to the patient portal and the medical portal on the web. The app interfaces with the oximeter to receive data relating to heart rate and oxygen saturation. It adapts to the patient's physiological condition to provide tailored feedback and sets the coefficients needed to analyze patient parameters based on data flow received from the oximeter. A 5-day initial period of "adaptation" is necessary to establish the basic settings. Subsequently, the device models its settings according to input data on the state of the patient.Experimentation of the product is underway with the involvement of 500 patients, 60 general practitioners and 3 hospitals of the Sardinian Regional Health Protection Agency (ATS Sardinia).
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