COPD is on the rise; diagnosis and management challenges remain
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As one of the leading causes of death worldwide, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects more than 251 million people.  While millions of people across the globe have been diagnosed with COPD, there are millions of others who remain undiagnosed, or have been labeled incorrectly with a different lung condition. More importantly, many patients with COPD don’t fully understand how to manage their symptoms and they struggle to adhere to their treatment plans. COPD often presents challenges for patients to join in life’s varied activities. While COPD is a chronic condition, it doesn’t need to be a debilitating disease.
There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to COPD treatment
Early diagnosis and effective therapies are vital for COPD patients. Early COPD symptoms often include shortness of breath, chronic cough, body fatigue and chest tightness that often develop slowly and subtly. As there is no ‘one size fits all’ therapy for COPD patients, the medical team should work with their patients to find the best combination of technology, medications, and lifestyle changes to manage their condition.
Minimizing COPD exacerbations not only prolongs survival, improves quality of life and allows patients to remain active – but also reduces healthcare utilization and costs. In an effort to reduce COPD-related hospital readmissions, a recent Philips-sponsored retrospective study revealed that only 7.5 percent of 1.8 million COPD patients in the U.S. actually receive any form of PAP therapy. In another report, a health system in Alabama recently partnered with Philips to institute an integrated COPD care initiative that specifically looked at reducing hospital readmission rates and costs in patients with COPD. Through the implementation of published, evidence-based care strategies, this initiative helped the health system reduce 30-day hospital readmissions by 80 percent and avoid penalties over the course of three fiscal quarters in 2017, resulting in nearly $1.3 million in savings.
Empowered patients who are inspired to take control of their lives, are knowledgeable in self-management and assume responsibility for their behaviors become partners in their care. The number of COPD patients across the globe is on the rise, but treatment options that improve delivery of effective care are, too.
Chief Medical Liaison for Philips Sleep & Respiratory Care
“Empowered patients who are inspired to take control of their lives, are knowledgeable in self-management and assume responsibility for their behaviors become partners in their care. The number of COPD patients across the globe is on the rise, but treatment options that improve delivery of effective care are, too. “ - Dr. Lee-Chiong, Chief Medical Liaison for Philips Sleep & Respiratory Care
To help providers and patients better manage this chronic condition, Philips has launched a global initiative to empower COPD patients to take control of their health and provide resources to help physicians guide their patients through their diagnosis. COPD is a lifelong condition, and the economic realities of medical care as well as changing patient lifestyle and expectations require continuous conversation between patients and their healthcare teams.
 Global Burden of Disease Study, World Health Organization 2016