Signal management

Virtual COPD management solution offers an effective and engaging way to help seniors

Wellinks®, a digital healthcare company offering the first-ever integrated, virtual chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management solution, today announced the results of a study that found older adults with COPD were very committed and satisfied with Wellinks. The peer-reviewed research has been published in JMIR Formative Research.

These findings are significant because COPD is the third leading cause of death by disease in the United States and the fifth costliest chronic disease, with an estimated annual expenditure of US$49 billion. The results of this study suggest that virtual COPD solutions, including Wellinks, present an effective and attractive way to help older adults and people with severe COPD manage their breathing problems.

We believe that integrating software, devices and virtual human-assisted care into a single solution can play an important role in the successful management of COPD. These results validate our approach and signal that interconnected health tools can successfully engage and delight patients, even those who are often assumed to be on the other side of the “digital divide”. We are now building on this foundation by simultaneously conducting additional clinical research, continuing product development and bringing Wellinks to market. »

Alex Waldron, CEO of Wellinks

For the 8-week study, participants each received access to the Wellinks mobile app, which automatically recorded health data from devices, including a connected pulse oximeter and spirometer, over 8 weeks. The average participant was 80 years old and more than half of the participants had severe COPD. All participants achieved the weekly commitment goal of one pulse oximetry reading per week, and most patients achieved the goal of one spirometry reading per week. On average, patients entered their medication use 9 times per week and their symptoms at least once per week.

Importantly, 94% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the Wellinks app was easy to use, and 81% said it was helpful in managing their COPD. Overall, the tools received a net promoter score of 59, indicating a very high level of patient satisfaction.

Healthcare is experiencing a major revolution in the care of patients with chronic diseases through the introduction of mobile health applications and virtual care. For patients with COPD, who have unique needs and challenges, it is critical to properly test and validate these new resources. It’s exciting to see this chronic disease patient population successfully engage with multiple devices linked to a common mobile app that can synthesize and relay data to the physician and care team. »

Dr. Brian Gelbman, study principal investigator and associate clinical professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital

This announcement follows Wellinks’ announcement of a US$25 million funding round led by Morningside Ventures. The funding will support the development of additional clinical research studies, similar to the recently announced ASPIRE study in collaboration with the COPD Foundation, which examines both the clinical and economic outcomes of the first virtual solution.


Journal reference:

Gelbman, BD & Reed, CR, (2022) An integrated, multimodal digital health solution for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: prospective observational pilot study. JMIR formative research.