17 August 2021
The app, myCOPD, is the first NHS-approved digital self-management programme for COPD to be available outside of the UK.
Digital therapeutics pioneer my mhealth has announced the first international rollout of its NHS-approved COPD app, myCOPD, in New Zealand. The rollout is initially focused on the Māori and Pasifika population, making it the first NHS approved digital self-management programme for COPD to be available in a clinical setting beyond British borders.
Within one District Health Board (DHB), around 300 patients will be the first in the country to have access to the app, with an aim to expand patient access. Over the last 2 years of working closely together, with COVID impacting initial launch plans, my mhealth and the leading DHB have the first COPD patients now benefiting from the online therapeutic. myCOPD provides patients with access to a digital self-management programme, perfecting inhaler technique with easy-to-follow inhaler videos, access to online pulmonary rehabilitation and learning how to manage their COPD from world experts. All of this enables healthcare professionals to remotely monitor symptoms of COPD, evolve and enhance service access for patients.
COPD is a major respiratory disease in New Zealand. An estimated 15% (200,000) of all New Zealanders aged over 45 years suffer from the condition and is the fourth leading cause of death in the region behind cancer, heart disease and stroke. The DHB set out to find a new digital solution to improve patient care as well as reducing costs of unnecessary admissions and discrepancies surrounding the access to and availability of healthcare. Following investment from Vodafone New Zealand, the clear objective is to improve the health of COPD patients and their access to services, with part of the population disproportionately affected with a prevalence twice that of other ethnic groups1.
The DHB selected myCOPD as the chosen solution, as the platform provides the key requirements local patients asked for, as well as the capacity to serve as a blueprint for other chronic conditions such as heart failure and diabetes. All of these have similar needs that are currently not being met due to lack of sufficient funding. Currently in the UK the app is used by over 50,000 people, improving the quality of care and the frequency of their check-ins.
Global Lead for my mhealth, Ian Thompson, commented, “All of us here at my mhealth are excited to bring myCOPD into New Zealand and into the respiratory teams hands at the DHB. We have been working together for almost 2 years to get this moving; the global pandemic prevented us getting started a year ago, but through hard work by all involved, we have finally got the first patients on board myCOPD.
“The main part of our work is focused on ensuring adaptations that are needed to the platform meet the needs of the Māori and Pasifika populations. We also want to recognise the support from Vodafone NZ, who have provided funds for this initial program. This support from Vodafone NZ puts the local digital health economy on its first steps towards its digital evolution, supporting the access of services into the homes of patients across the DHB and beyond for those suffering with COPD.
“This is something we have been doing with the NHS for a number of years and hope our learnings can accelerate the digital adoption."
Chief Enterprise Officer at Vodafone NZ, Lindsay Zwart, added, “We’re constantly looking out for world-class digital solutions to enhance the lives of New Zealanders, and my mhealth exemplifies this approach. This initial deployment with the DHB will enable us to test whether the myCOPD app can help to improve the health and future outcomes for COPD patients in the region, and if this technology can be rolled out further around New Zealand.”
About my mhealth:
Our mission is to change healthcare forever. We do this by empowering patients and clinical teams to manage long-term conditions using digital therapeutics, delivered remotely at a fraction of the traditional cost to patients with Asthma, COPD, COVID-19, Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Founded by two NHS medical consultants to deliver evidence-based interventions using software and applications to patients, we developed the UK’s first NHS-approved digital platform.
Each of our apps, including myCOPD, myAsthma, myDiabetes and myHeart, have been developed with clinical experts in their field to provide patients with the knowledge and support to manage their conditions. These self-management apps offer a unique, customised, and personalised experience for patients and they can be accessed and used on almost any device, from smartphones to smart TV’s.
We are pioneering a new approach to dispersed healthcare provision, enabling remote monitoring, and medication management which delivers better outcomes, improved patient engagement and decreases the burden on the NHS. Our technology has been proven to enable better outcomes for patients by independent, peer-reviewed studies with clinical evidence from BMJ open, Nature Partner Journals and the European Respiratory Society. We have received awards and recognition from Innovate UK, SBRI, NICE, NIA, and we are compliant with MHRA, MDR and Cyber Essentials Plus.
For more information please visit mymhealth.com