First Scientific Study to Examine the Effects of Digital Therapeutics on Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinically Validates the Efficacy of the Kaia Health Offering
Kaia Health, the large digital therapeutics company, announced the availability of the company’s clinically validated virtual offering for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) rehabilitation. The North American rollout builds off the company’s established success researching, developing and launching the application in Germany and the promising results of a randomized controlled trial recently published in Thorax.
COPD refers to a group of conditions that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 15.7 million Americans (6.4%) reported that they have been diagnosed with COPD, which was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in 2018. While there is no cure for the condition, COPD can be treated using digital therapeutic pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) solutions like those developed by Kaia Health. There is also clinical evidence that suggests PR can be used to address long COVID-19 symptoms.
PR is considered important for patients with COPD to improve their quality of life and exercise capacity, but in many instances is difficult to access. Currently, PR is offered in person at outpatient clinics, but is typically limited to metropolitan areas. A 2021 study by the pulmonary center at the University of Alabama found that the mean distance between patients with COPD and their nearest PR center was, on average, 8.6 miles in metropolitan areas, 20.0 miles in micropolitan or suburban areas, and 26.6 miles in small-town/rural areas. By offering an easily accessible virtual PR solution to patients, Kaia Health is improving access to care and lowering the barrier to integrating exercise into the patients’ lives. At the same time, this provides a training program that helps patients manage their COPD condition and maintain their physical activity levels.
The Kaia COPD app can also significantly reduce costs for payers. According to a study published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, total annual healthcare expenses were 3 times higher for patients with COPD than for patients without, with direct medical costs associated with the condition amounting to $32 billion and indirect costs, $20.4 billion.
Built on the Kaia Health digital therapy platform, the Kaia Health COPD app digitizes and delivers affordable, accessible, physical PR—considered the gold standard in COPD—directly to patients’ homes on their smartphones. It is available anytime and anywhere, without requiring an inpatient setting or a visit to a healthcare facility.
“As the largest global digital therapeutics company across conditions, Kaia Health is on a mission to break down barriers and deliver high-quality, affordable care that is accessible to all. I am so proud that we have been able to expand our digital therapy platform to now help patients living with COPD as well as those dealing with musculoskeletal issues,” said Nigel Ohrenstein, president of Kaia Health. “Maintaining physical activity in patients with COPD has been shown to decrease readmissions while increasing overall survival rates. Today, we are leading the industry charge by offering a new treatment option that is improving patients’ health and their quality of life.”
Kaia Health’s COPD app is the market leader in comprehensive digital pulmonary rehabilitation and was recently clinically validated via an RCT led by physicians from Zurich Rehabilitation Centers and the University of Marburg. The scientific study, the first of its kind, examined how the use of Kaia Health affects physical activity after inpatient treatment. As a result, researchers found that with Kaia Health, patient health status improvements from inpatient rehabilitation were maintained at far greater rates than that of the control group for the entire 6-month study duration. The study also demonstrated that the use of Kaia Health significantly reduces the general severity of symptoms.