The COPD Foundation and Kivo Health, which provides telehealth pulmonary rehabilitation for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), have partnered to improve access to virtual pulmonary rehabilitation.
While pulmonary rehabilitation is a “gold standard” treatment for lung disease and has been shown to reduce symptoms, mortality, and healthcare costs for those suffering from COPD, only 3% of affected people complete it after hospitalization due to transportation barriers, cost of travel, distance from a rehab center, or severe symptoms. Virtual pulmonary rehab can remove many barriers to access. Completing pulmonary rehab from the comfort of home can also help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with starting a new treatment program.
Kivo Health’s eight-week, Medicare-supported, virtual pulmonary rehab program provides patients with an in-home rehab kit including a tablet and wristwatch, real-time oxygen and heart rate monitoring, guided breathing exercises, and lung health education with a credentialed respiratory therapist. Patients don’t need to have access to the internet or be technologically savvy; everything is included in the kit and easy to understand and thus has resulted in nearly 90% adherence, according to a release from the COPD Foundation.
“For the more than 16 million people in the US with COPD, pulmonary rehab can improve lung function, overall fitness, and quality of life better than any other therapy,” says COPD Foundation CEO Jean Wright, MD, in a release. “Pulmonary rehab offers a comprehensive approach that empowers individuals to breathe more easily, stay active, and regain control over their lives despite the challenges of COPD. Virtual pulmonary rehab will enable more people to have access to the health care they need, reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.”
Victor Sadauskas, MD, co-founder and CEO of Kivo Health, adds in a release, “Kivo Health provides high-quality, safe, engaging, and accessible virtual pulmonary rehabilitation for people from any background and living in any geographical location. We look forward to working alongside the COPD Foundation to improve the health and lives of millions of people with chronic lung disease.”