New research from Cleveland Clinic and Propellor Health finds the Madison company’s digital medicine platform reduced hospital visits for patients with respiratory diseases.

In a study published last month in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, researchers explored the use of electronic inhaler monitoring in combination with a disease management program. They worked with patients who had COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Researchers Amy Attaway, Umur Hatipoglu, Richard Rice and Khaled Alshabani assembled 39 patients with COPD who had visited the hospital or emergency room at least once that year.

The patients were given rescue inhalers fitted with electronic monitoring devices. They were monitored between October 2016 and May 2017 by a team of scientists using Propellor’s platform.

To enable remote tracking, small sensors were affixed to patients’ COPD inhaler medication. Those sensors send information to the patient’s smartphone, which acts as a “data hub.” From there, notifications were sent to doctors when controller inhalers were not used for four days straight, or when rescue inhaler use increased. That helps guide disease management.

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