Philips connects COPD patients at home

  • November 9, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Philips has expanded its home care portfolio for COPD patients with a non-invasive ventilator that uses the Dutch firm’s connected platform to streamline diagnostic work through integration with its Alice sleep lab and home diagnostic systems.

The connected BiPAP A40 EFL ventilator is said to be the first to help healthcare professionals screen, detect and abolish expiratory flow limitation to reduce work of breathing in COPD patients with abnormally elevated blood carbon dioxide level.

With the introduction of this non-invasive ventilator, Philips has extended its homecare offering with a ventilation therapy feature for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients to breathe easier. Now, pulmonologists can identify COPD patients with expiratory flow limitation (EFL) and treat them with targeted therapy to reduce symptoms and increase their comfort while sleeping. The ventilator continuously and optimally adjusts pressure based on patient needs.

Health care professionals can automatically screen for and detect EFL, then provide homecare therapy to abolish EFL dynamically and automatically. This helps reduce the patient’s work of breathing.

Built with Philips proprietary and clinically validated ExpiraFlow technology, BiPAP A40 EFL is designed to connect across the care pathway from diagnostic work to point-of-care therapy to enable informed clinical decisions and optimise ventilation therapy, even remotely.

More than half of COPD patients experience EFL – limited exhalation of breath from the lungs – which occurs in the lower airways when patients are breathing quietly. EFL causes hyperinflation, or breathing at increased lung volumes. COPD patients with EFL are more likely to be hospitalised more often and have increased mortality rates, however EFL is difficult to detect and often undertreated, despite its prevalence.

The ExpiraFlow technology automatically detects EFL more accurately than alternate methods to enable more effective treatment of patient in the home and help avoid hospital readmissions.

“ExpiraFlow technology represents a shift in the paradigm of ventilator COPD management towards more personalised therapy, which automatically optimises ventilation to the individual needs of the patient,” said Peter Calverley, professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Liverpool. “By monitoring the presence of EFL on a breath-by-breath basis, the A40 EFL system can automatically adjust therapy pressures to ensure efficient lung emptying and better gas exchange. This new focus allows us to consider individual differences in lung mechanics and gas exchange when managing complex respiratory patients.”

Clinicians can now detect EFL in hypercapnic COPD patients at the point of care, ensure personalised patient treatment at home and monitor care remotely.

“EFL often goes undetected, meaning patients don’t receive the care they need to improve their disease,” said Eli Diacopoulos, respiratory care business leader at Philips. “At Philips, we’re committed to identifying these gaps and meeting the challenges that COPD patients face every day. BiPAP A40 EFL aims to revolutionise COPD care.”

The BiPAP A40 EFL leverages Philips connected platform to streamline diagnostic work through integration to Philips Alice sleep lab and home diagnostic systems. When prescribed and used in the home, it connects to the firm’s Care Orchestrator cloud-based care management system. By making it easier to analyse and share information, this connectivity enables providers to make faster, more informed clinical decisions, and identify and prioritise patients who are in need of therapy intervention to manage chronic respiratory patient care from hospital to home.

The product is CE marked and initially available for sale in selected countries in Europe, with expansion to additional European markets expected in 2021. This is not yet available in the USA.