Philips launches major new COPD patient research initiative


Europe-wide survey aims to inspire tomorrow’s innovations in COPD management

Royal Philips has launched a European-wide research initiative designed to better understand some of the key issues affecting the many millions of people currently living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and how technology can help them.

Launched in its first phase in markets including the UK and Germany, the survey is designed to uncover some of day-to-day challenges that people living with the disease face, be they physical, emotional or psychological, with the intention that the findings will help inform and inspire Philips’ next generation of innovative technology solutions for the management of the condition, which kills 25,000 people in the UK every year.

In the UK it is estimated that just over two million people are currently living with COPD but have not been diagnosed, therefore preventing them for getting the vital support that they need.

From the potential for earlier diagnoses, to improved self management in the home, innovating towards a better quality of care could not only help save lives but, with COPD currently responsible for more than one in 10 of all ambulance-delivered emergency A&E admissions, it could also deliver significant cost savings for the NHS.

“The management of COPD is a huge challenge because as the condition worsens a patient’s independence is lost and treatment costs spiral. It’s a vicious cycle,” said Jeroen Tas, chief executive of healthcare informatics solutions and services at Philips.

“We hope this survey will help shine light on elements associated with the current management of COPD that might be overlooked or perhaps are known issues, but are not receiving the attention they require. Using this data and insight, our aim is to ensure our future direction is absolutely patient-centric and focused on meeting people’s individual needs.”

This new research builds on a variety of other insight-gathering initiatives in which Philips is currently engaged. Most recently Philips announced a collaboration with Radboud university medical center to test a new wearable monitoring and diagnosis prototype device that continually tracks health and lifestyle data of people living with COPD. This continuous stream of information is shared with clinicians using Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform, allowing them to respond to their patient’s specific needs, supporting them to provide the best possible standard of individualised care.

The Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform itself is an open, cloud-based platform that enables full medical device and data interoperability, for customisable clinical tools. Two programmes currently operating on the platform are the Philips eCareCompanion patient portal, for patient data tracking and the eCareCoordinator, designed for tailored patient data segmentation.

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The findings of the COPD survey will be released in early 2015.