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COPD digital management tool receives NICE draft approval

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The Lenus Health Treat service has been granted draft approval for use in the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Early Value Assessment (EVA) programme for digital supported self-management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

NICE EVA is now a key mechanism that evaluates new innovations for wider adoption in the NHS.

It has grouped digital products, devices and diagnostics for supported self-management, and the EVA provides a rapid assessment of these digital tools for clinical effectiveness and value for money.

This informs and guides NHS commissioners, giving a cohesive approvals pathway for MedTech innovations that address national unmet need. 

Paul McGinness, CEO of Lenus Health, said: “Exacerbations caused by COPD are the second most common cause of emergency hospital admissions, accounting for 1 in eight of all UK hospital admissions.

“We welcome the focus on how best to manage COPD patients from NICE which aligns to the NHS Long-term Plan’s focus on identifying respiratory disease and emerging Major Conditions Strategy.

“Lenus has built an evidence base for our product over several years and are pleased that this has been recognised through this assessment.”  

Lenus’s Treat service provides symptom tracking, self-management tools, education and exercise guidance, remote monitoring and direct access to clinical support.

It can be used as a stand-alone admission avoidance tool for long term remote monitoring, or in conjunction with Lenus’s Virtual Ward module for a complete hospital at home solution.

Lenus Health’s EVA approval is based on findings from their existing studies into COPD, a long-term progressive lung disease that affects more than 1.7 million people across the UK with almost 30,000 dying from it annually.

The EVA evaluated evidenced generated from the RECEIVER clinical trial conducted with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC), which has recently been extended to less severe patients, and interim results from a second trial in the North Yorkshire and Humber region.

McGinnes said: “When combined with our Virtual Ward capability, this EVA supports both admission avoidance and early discharge in high-risk and less severe groups.

“The EVA means our COPD service for integrated supported self-management will be available for wider adoption across NHS organisations, reducing pressures on the system and improving the lives of thousands of patients.”

The disease is predicted to cost the NHS £2.5 billion each year by 2030, largely because of the expense of these emergency admissions.

However, the RECEIVER trial found that providing patients with a digital support service could relieve the burden on NHS services, dramatically reducing hospital admissions and days patients spent occupying hospital beds by approximately 50 per cent each year.

In the year prior to using the digital service, patients spent an average of 15 days in hospital beds, compared to just seven days the year after taking part in the trial.

Patients using the service also had a lower 12-month mortality rate of 16.9 per cent compared to 24.1 per cent in the control cohort. 

Asthma + Lung UK’s Director of Research + Innovation, Dr Samantha Walker, said: “We know that the 1.7million people living with COPD in this country can struggle to get the help they need to live well with their condition.

“A recent survey revealed that less than a third (32 per cent) of those with COPD we surveyed have a self-management plan.

“This is why we welcome any tools that help people to manage and monitor this condition themselves.”

Lung disease is the country’s third biggest killer, and we urgently need the next government to prioritise investment into respiratory research which has sadly stood still.

“We want to see new treatments and better testing to improve outcomes for people with lung conditions like COPD.”

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