A pilot clinical study demonstrated how Kaia Health’s artificial intelligence-based smartphone app could reduce a patient’s symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The at-home digital intervention addresses physical and psychological factors of COPD, providing videos of cardiovascular and muscle exercises that are adjusted to an individual’s disease profile. It also includes audio-based relaxation exercises to help manage anxiety and depression.
Patients with questions can also contact a coach through the app, and access information on breathing and coughing techniques as well as nutrition and medication tracking.
In the study, published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, users showed clinically significant benefits in health-related quality of life scores after 20 therapy days compared to baseline, as well as some improvements in emotion and fatigue scores. Kaia Health said this suggests that a multidisciplinary digital treatment can help patients better manage their COPD.
“Conventional rehabilitation as a treatment for COPD is expensive and resource-intense, particularly in developed countries with a rapidly aging population and huge health care costs—which makes it difficult to integrate in healthcare systems,” said Konstantin Mehl, founder and CEO of the Munich, Germany-based Kaia Health. “Therefore it is underutilized even though international guidelines recommend its widespread use.”
“This clinical study indicates that, by digitizing therapy, we can democratize access to effective COPD treatment globally, which can be administered in the comfort of a patient’s home,” Mehl added. “This will empower patients to take control and self-manage their COPD with evidenced-based, non-pharmacological, affordable alternatives.”
The app, only available through select insurers and providers, is currently presented in German. The company plans to have it translated into English and other languages in the near future.