ResMed Highlights Digital Health at JP Morgan Conference

Allison Inserro

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the world’s top drivers of chronic disease burdens, the chief executive officer of ResMed told the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, as he explained the company’s strategy to help meet unmet needs using digital connectivity and data analytics.

Michael Farrell laid out the company’s strategy to 2025 by outlining the macro and micro trends affecting the company, which makes connected devices for respiratory care.

Besides the growing burden of chronic disease, the world is aging rapidly, he said. “Nine percent of the world’s population is over age 65 or older,” said Farrell. “By 2050 that will double to almost 17% of the world’s population being of retirement age.”

He called aging a “global epidemic” that will collide with soaring healthcare costs as well as a shortage of physicians. On a micro level, Farrell said he thinks the company can impact those trends by delivering the correct care when needed at the right time and in lower-cost settings outside of the hospital.

The company has a goal to impact 250 million lives with out-of-hospital care by 2025, Farrell said. “We think hospitals are places where sick care happens,” he said, adding that most people would rather be at home or in other settings.

COPD is the third-leading cause of death worldwide, he said, and the second cause of hospital readmissions. According to the company, more than 380 million people worldwide are estimated to have COPD, and in some countries—mainly in India, Brazil, China, and Eastern Europe—it may be undiagnosed, Farrell said. COPD causes about 3 million deaths per year, he said.

ResMed wants to change the lives of patients with COPD by creating new solutions for unmet needs. That includes making its portable oxygen concentrators connected in order to gather COPD data, he said.

Farrell also highlighted the company’s recent purchase of Propeller Health, which he said gives ResMed data on inhaled medicines. Propeller makes digital sensors that attach to respiratory devices and captures patient data. In COPD, the sensors have been shown to document a 59% reduction in healthcare utilization, an increase in symptom-free days, and a reduction in medication use, he said.

The deal allows ResMed to scale Propeller’s digital health around the world, Farrell said.
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