Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often experience acute exacerbations of their symptoms, leading to frequent hospital visits and an increased risk of mortality. While the standard treatment for these patients includes antibiotics and oral corticosteroids, a recent study has shown that a non-drug medical device could reduce the need for these medications.
The Aerobika medical device – marketed by Trudell Medical International (TMI) – was able to reduce antibiotic and oral corticosteroid use by 57 and 89 percent, respectively, when combined with the standard COPD treatment. The same six-month study involving 810 patients diagnosed with COPD, found that the Aerobika was able to reduce acute COPD exacerbations by 28 percent, in as few as 30 days of starting treatment.
Over 800,000 patients in Canada have been diagnosed with COPD. A disease characterized by impaired lung function which results in patients having trouble breathing, COPD includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Pulmonary infections caused by bacteria or viruses are common causes of COPD exacerbations, which contribute to 50 percent of hospital admissions. Overproduction of mucus associated with COPD leads to a higher risk of infection and subsequent progression of the disease.
“One of our major goals in developing the Aerobika device was to safely improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Jason Suggett, Group Director of Global Science and Technology at TMI. “These real-world findings are encouraging as we continue to conduct additional studies to further demonstrate the impact of our device in this high risk patient population.”
The Aerobika medical device works by creating positive pressure and oscillations when a patient exhales into the device, thereby expanding airways and improving the expelling of mucus. The device could help prevent the recurrence of acute exacerbations, and may even improve drug deposition for standard COPD therapies.
By 2030, the incidence of COPD is expected to increase by 155 percent, potentially increasing the number of patients hospitalized due to complications of the disease. Currently, the total cost of COPD hospitalizations in Canada amounts to an estimated $1.5 billion per year.