Wellinks Announces Initiation of IRB Approved Study of Digital Health Solution for COPD
Wellinks Flyp Nebulizer
Wellinks, a leader in innovative respiratory technologies, has announced the initiation of an IRB approved research pilot study for patients previously diagnosed with COPD. The study aims to demonstrate the feasibility of collecting and tracking information essential to managing COPD patients, including adherence to medication regimen, lung health, and symptoms onset. Investigators will also assess engagement and satisfaction with the Wellinks solution.
The study, led by primary investigator Dr. Brian D. Gelbman, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, will utilize a Bluetooth™ enabled version of Wellinks’ Flyp Nebulizer to communicate wirelessly with the Wellinks app on the user’s phone. The data is then pushed to a HIPAA secure cloud environment and displayed for the provider in dashboards and reports.
Getting into the field with our first digital health offering and welcoming patients on the platform is an exciting milestone for us. Wellink is on a mission to reinvent respiratory care around the people who need it. The journey to improving outcomes and patient engagement in COPD includes generating objective data – this study is the first of many.Geoff Matous, Wellinks President
What is COPD? And How is it Diagnosed?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD makes breathing difficult for the 16 million Americans who have this disease. Respiratory illness is a big and growing problem—the number of respiratory compromised people in the United States alone tops 100 million. Millions more suffer from COPD but are undiagnosed. A simple test, called spirometry, can measure pulmonary—or lung—function and detect COPD in anyone with breathing problems. COPD was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2014.
What are the Causes and Complications of COPD?
In the United States, tobacco smoke is a significant factor in the development and progression of COPD. Exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors, and respiratory infections also play a role. In the developing world, indoor air quality potentially plays a larger role than it does in the United States. Compared to adults without COPD, those with this disease are more likely to:
- Have activity limitations like difficulty walking or climbing stairs
- Be unable to work
- Need special equipment like portable oxygen tanks
- Not engage in social activities like eating out, going to group events, or getting together with friends or neighbors
- Have increased confusion or memory loss
- Have more emergency room visits or overnight hospital stays
- Have other chronic diseases like arthritis, congestive heart failure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, or asthma
- Have depression or other mental or emotional conditions
- Report a fair or poor health status
How is COPD Treated?
There is no cure for COPD. Treatment of COPD requires a careful and thorough evaluation by a physician. COPD treatment can alleviate symptoms, decrease the frequency and severity of exacerbations, and increase exercise tolerance. The goal of drug treatment for COPD is to reduce the number and severity of attacks. Treatment can help improve overall health, including the ability to exercise. The most commonly prescribed form of therapy in COPD is inhalation therapy, including inhalers and nebulizers. The fast and effective relief of symptoms from a nebulizer can significantly improve quality of life.
We hope that with better home monitoring, we can detect exacerbations, understand medication compliance and usage, and adjust therapy to prevent clinical worsening. This could be immensely useful in COPD patients’ care, many of whom are homebound and have difficulty traveling to office visits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.Dr. Brian D. Gelbman, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Wellinks, formerly Convexity Scientific Inc., is a Connecticut-based medical technology company creating devices and digital solutions with patients’ lifestyles in mind. The company’s first FDA cleared Class II medical device, Flyp Nebulizer, demonstrates Wellinks commitment to transforming respiratory care with radical inventions around the people who need it. Investors of Wellinks include Connecticut Innovations, HighCape Capital, and Benslie.