HGE Health Extends Its Telemedicine Technology Successes From One Disease To Another. From COPD To Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Temple Spin-off Helps Patients In Trouble.
PHILADELPHIA, Mar. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- A telemedicine-based disease management program proven to dramatically help chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients breathe easier is now giving patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) -- a deadlier form of pulmonary disease -- a fighting chance to do the same.
HGE Health, a Philadelphia-based healthcare technology company that works worldwide with pulmonary surgeons and physicians, is partnering with the Temple Lung Center at Temple University Hospital to apply its HGE Health Care Advanced technology to help IPF patients in the U.S. and around the world.
The digital telemedicine platform and mobile app has been shown to help patients with COPD experience much better outcomes by enabling them and their physician to quickly adjust treatment protocols to counteract changing symptoms in their disease progression.
An irreversible lung disease experienced by one in 200 American adults, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) causes scaring throughout the lungs and does not have a known cause. It mostly affects middle-aged and older adults, has no cure and generally has a very limited number of treatment options. Lung transplantation is the only intervention that has been shown to significantly improve lung function, quality of life and in some cases, survival.
The disease's progression varies person-to-person, but without a lung transplant, most patients have only approximately three-to-five years to live once they're diagnosed with the illness.
"Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a debilitating, emotionally challenging disease that limits its sufferers from living a full life. IPF patients can experience worsening of their respiratory symptoms, especially breathlessness and cough," said Michael J. Markus, PhD., CEO of HGE Health. "Our unmatched leadership in telemedicine-based programs in COPD and lung transplant patients is why we're so confident we can provide the same timely care for IPF patients. By providing adjustments to the treatment plan based on a change in symptoms, we have the opportunity to improve respiratory symptoms in patients with IPF and perhaps compliance with their IPF medications. A telemedicine-based disease management program for patients with IPF has the promise to improve their quality of life as well as clinical outcomes."
The initial patient base for the mobile technology will be Temple Lung Center's 3,500-4,500 patients with pulmonary interstitial lung diseases, many of them suffering specifically from IPF, many of whom travel across the country to utilize the pulmonary expertise at the Philadelphia medical center.
The causes of pulmonary fibrosis can include environmental toxins, medications, chronic inflammation, and infections. It is suspected that genetics may play a role in the more serious idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Symptoms of IPF – which is the most common form of pulmonary fibrosis – is a dry, unexplained cough, shortness of breath starting with activity and then with little or no activity. The shortness of breath ultimately limits most all activity and even can occur while sitting.
Pulmonary patients use their smartphone, which securely communicates to the HGE Health platform, to report their daily pulmonary symptoms to their physician who has the option of making immediate changes in treatment. The more rapidly medical issues are addressed before they get more complicated, the more positive the outcome.
"We're excited about the possibilities our technology will offer to IPF patients," said Markus. "We recognize that they are highly vulnerable, more fragile and face a high rate of mortality as their disease progresses. However, if we can be the critical bridge between these patients and the transplant physicians taking care of them, we'll be able to give these men and women an entirely new lease on life."
About HGE Health
Headquartered in Philadelphia, HGE Health harnesses it's deep experience in chronic disease management and digital health in pulmonary disease, telemedicine and mobile health to develop a clinical services platform that delivers better care faster at a much lower cost for patients, physicians and payors. Built on clinical protocols developed and supported by 16 years of research, the company's technology has compiled the longest running and world's largest longitudinal data set of COPD symptoms, interventions and clinical management to help physicians provide care for a geographically and socio-economically diverse COPD and pulmonary patient population.