Innovate UK Awards £750,000 to Tackle Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Innovate UK has awarded funding to a collaborative project to develop a new care path for patients which could save the NHS 1.4 Billion.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects 1.2 million people in the UK, aggravation of the disease is the second most common cause of emergency hospital admissions – accounting for one in eight of all hospital admissions. WHO (World Health Organisation) forecasts COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.

To tackle the issue NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, eHealth, the Department of Research & Development in a coordinated collaboration with Edinburgh based StormID, KenSCI and ResMed have launched a project to develop a new care pathway for patients with COPD.

Funded by Innovate UK the project aims to deliver a continuous and preventive digital health and care service in an effort to reduce hospital admissions and provide better patient outcomes.

Remote Patient Monitoring Will Support Preventative Treatment

The project will remotely monitor the highest risk COPD patients. Remote monitoring will mean that patients are be able to remain at home. As part of the project, an Artifical Intelligence (AI) preventative interventions will also be implemented.

Utilising cutting-edge technology, the project will aim to prevent at least one emergency hospital admission per year for each patient using the service.

By cutting emergency admissions the project has the potential to generate significant savings for the NHS. If the service is successfully scaled across 20% of the highest risk COPD patients, this saving equates to £1.4 billion.

David Lowe, Emergency Consultant, NHSGGC, added: “Early warning of deterioration will enable our respiratory team to deliver the care they would receive in the ED at home improving patient outcomes whilst reducing demand on our overstretched Emergency Departments.”

New Service Could Be a Serious Cost Saver

If successful, the project will be introduced across the UK to these high-risk patients. This new collaborative effort will build on the existing work already underway between NHSGGC, Storm ID and Digital Health Institute including:

  • A home remote-monitored non-invasive ventilation (NIV) pilot for COPD patients by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde that has already demonstrated benefits including reducing hospital admissions.
  • A Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funded project between KenSci and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde to develop a decision support algorithm for use in Emergency Departments to improve COPD care planning.

Chris Carlin, Consultant Respiratory Physician, NHSGGC said: “COPD is one of our biggest global health challenges. We’re committed to delivering realistic medicine for our COPD patients.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to deliver our vision is for a digital infrastructure and suite of innovations which will enable early detection of potential COPD deteriorations in our highest-risk patients.”



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