Tech improving patient care and easing NHS burden

Digital technology has been increasingly recognised as a potent weapon to wield against the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a significant influence in shaping the future of healthcare


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Use of connected devices, cloud-based capabilities, data and remote monitoring has the ability to energise clinical care, improve patients’ quality of life and generate economic value across the NHS.

ResMed, a pioneer in digital healthcare for people with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is at the forefront of technology transforming care provision.

With a 31-year heritage of designing and manufacturing masks, devices and software to treat and care for patients with these debilitating conditions, ResMed has enabled clinicians to leverage data from its devices to enhance patient treatment and outcomes.

In 2014, the company recognised the transformative role of digitalisation in healthcare and innovated cloud-based solutions, facilitating streamlined and remote care alongside data analytics. Together, these inform optimal care pathways, identify necessary patient interventions and promote health-system improvements.

“The decision to enable all ResMed devices with connectivity was driven by our aim to help care providers and their patients address health issues more promptly and efficiently,” says Antoine Valterio, UK and Ireland country manager for ResMed.

“The data provided through our devices and software programmes give clinicians and patients valuable insights, with our smart algorithms offering individualised coaching to patients via an online tool. This tool has been demonstrated to improve patient adherence to therapy and thus deliver better outcomes for the patient, the care provider and the health system.”

Currently, more than 2.5 million OSA patients globally have signed up for the ResMed myAir programme to track their therapy and receive coaching and advice.

In addition to offering individualised care solutions, ResMed’s connected products – devices, masks and ventilators – along with its cloud-based software and services, enable patients to be treated in their own homes or in out-of-hospital care settings. Clinicians and care providers can monitor and modify the therapy delivered to the patient without the need for in-person consultations.

“The result is that pressure on hospitals and healthcare professionals can be relieved, as they continue to effectively manage their patients’ care,” says Valterio. “Clinicians are then able to offer additional support to patients who may be struggling with their treatments and may need further intervention.”

Pressure on hospitals and healthcare professionals can be relieved, while continuing to effectively manage their patients’ care

OSA and COPD continue to be rising healthcare burdens in the UK. The British Lung Foundation estimates that 1.5 million are living with OSA1 while 1.2 million people are living with COPD in the UK, with the prevalence rising by 27 per cent in a decade.2  The annual economic burden of COPD on the NHS is estimated at £1.9 billion3, and respiratory disease is a prime target for transformation under the NHS Long Term Plan, the UK’s blueprint to promote efficient and effective care.

Valterio says: “OSA and COPD, if untreated, are associated with a range of co-morbidities with serious consequences, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, so by monitoring and controlling these conditions we can minimise costs to healthcare systems.”

Given the growing prevalence of these patient needs, ResMed has established telemonitoring for a significant number of OSA and COPD patients in the UK and Ireland. It is also engaged in clinical trials to demonstrate the benefits of its technology and how it can become part of the digital healthcare mainstream.

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ResMed has been proactively working alongside the NHS to develop services to assist in care delivery and free up NHS capacity and has also had dedicated teams supporting NHS staff and patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We would like to highlight the efforts of the NHS in adopting new pathways and technologies during this period, demonstrating what can be achieved with digitalisation,” says Valterio. This aligns with the NHS Long Term Plan.

Moving beyond the continued success and innovative work in the UK, ResMed is currently the custodian of over six billion sleep and respiratory therapy data points globally that can enable large-scale scientific analyses.

The impetus of its innovative platforms, which have helped more than 110 million people globally with OSA and COPD over the last year, is to maximise the full potential of data and inform groundbreaking care.

“The use of device-enabled data is vital to a robust, effective NHS, and medtech is a highly regulated industry governed by security protocols, which ensure the data is put to good use safely,” says Valterio. “It offers both individualised solutions tailored to patient-specific needs and general, aggregated insights, which are harnessed and put back into the hands of clinicians to provide better outcomes to the care system as a whole.

“If we use our digital resources, we will enable those healthcare systems to perform optimally and sustainably by empowering patients and clinicians alike.”

Through these innovations in OSA and COPD care, ResMed is committed to its journey towards improving 250 million lives in 2025.

1 https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/obstructive-sleep-apnoea-osa/health-care-professionals/health-economics-report

2 https://statistics.blf.org.uk/copd

3 https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/clinical-policy/respiratory-disease/

For more information please visit www.resmed.co.uk