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September 29, 2022

UMass Chan partners with New Haven company to treat lung disease

Photo | Timothy Doyle UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester

UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester and New Haven digital healthcare company Wellinks are launching a new program, Healthy at Home, to study the ability of virtual care to prevent acute care needs among people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The six-month, 100-patient study is led by UMass Chan's Program in Digital Medicine and features Wellinks as a core element of an approach towards chronic care management for COPD, according to a Thursday press release from Wellinks.

COPD is the third leading cause of death by chronic disease, according to the American Lung Association. Patients suffering from the disease experience an inflammation and thickening of the lungs, destroying the tissue where oxygen is exchanged.

Healthcare costs related to COPD rose from $32.1 billion in 2010 to $49 billion in 2020, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

"The core mission of Program in Digital Medicine is to empower patients with health technology tools to help remove barriers to care, emphasize preventive care, and improve self-management, which are critical to improving clinical outcomes and patient quality of life," said Apurv Soni, assistant professor of medicine and co-director of the Program in Digital Medicine at UMass Chan. 

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