IoT and home oxygen therapy

Article

The reference market

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that affects over 10% of the European population and 65 million citizens worldwide.

Long-Term Oxygen Therapy is the standard treatment used for patients with chronic lung disease: one million patients receive LTOT in the United States and 600,000 in the EU, with an estimated cost of four billion euros a year combined.

The death rate is projected to increase to 338,000 per year by 2030.

The problem

Patients with chronic respiratory conditions may benefit from long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT). However, managing LTOT patients is a challenging process, as it requires monitoring and understanding of complex variables that overwhelm most patients and their families.

Once the dosage is prescribed, LTOT patients must manually set the prescribed flow rate in the oxygen concentrator and in most cases, the O2 output flow rate is not optimal which causes additional respiratory distress to both patients and their families encounter difficulties in adjusting the O2 intake (the so-called O2 Volume).

One of the greatest fears of the patient in-home oxygen therapy is that of running out of oxygen.  The LTOT patient’s adherence to O2 therapy is low and O2 dosage adjustments must be obtained manually, not always adapting to the patient’s O2 needs in a timely manner.

The economic pressures of the reimbursement centres (National Health System) are pushing manufacturers to supply oxygen therapy devices titrated to the correct oxygen flow rate that allows obtaining the maximum benefit for patients and the oxygen concentrator is considered a safer alternative, more convenient and cheaper to oxygen tanks or pressurised cylinders, but it presents some difficulties for the patient that the IoT solution that integrates melita.io sim aims to solve.

The IoT solution from melita.io

The solution we propose is a medical device that allows the monitoring of the oxygen inhaled by the patient produced by the oxygen concentrator; it integrates an NB-IoT modem and a melita.io SIM, dedicated to the active monitoring of the LTOT patient and is aimed at improving his therapeutic compliance. Using integrated sensors, it measures and sends to a dedicated WEB Server the following parameters:

  • Oxygen Flow, Temperature and Purity provided to the patient;
  • Temperature, Humidity and Air Quality of the room the patient is treated at home;
  • Energy consumption of the Oxygen Concentrator.

Each medical device downloads the therapy data from the WEB, in a continuous process of acquisition of inputs and processing of outputs, feeding an existing database with the value updated at the last survey. The specialist who prescribes oxygen therapy to the patient connects to the medical device to vary the hours of treatment for the patient; and to regulate the flow of oxygen. Each medical device downloads the therapy data from the WEB, in a continuous process of acquisition of inputs and processing of outputs, feeding an existing database with the value updated at the last survey.

The solution we propose has several other advantages:

  • It is a medical device that is adaptable to every oxygen concentrator on the market.
  • It helps to reduce exacerbations and hospital stays, with an assumed impact of 20% of cases (in the US, $ 10 billion / year).
  • It responds to the growing demand for technologically advanced equipment that makes the management of resources that will become increasingly scarce more optimal.
  • It optimises the intake of the “Pure Oxygen Volume” of the patient with chronic respiratory disease and connected to a stationary oxygen concentrator at home.
  • It contributes to achieving the goal of optimising the “patient’s Long-Term therapeutic Compliance performance Index” (LTCI).
  • It offers a personalised supply of O2 to each patient and this affects the total annual financial burden of COPD (in Europe, € 50 billion / year).

To learn more about how melita.io can help your business take advantage of the power of the Internet of Things, contact us.

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