Chiesi Group, an international therapeutic research and development group, has announced it will help bring to market a mobile app designed to assist individuals in managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Designed by digital therapeutics company Kaia Health, the app provides digitized pulmonary rehabilitation. Pulmonary rehabilitation — a system of physical exercises combined with lung education strategies — is an evidence-based intervention that strengthens lung muscles and improves breathing, assisting in the management of COPD.

COPD refers to a group of progressive diseases that cause damage and inflammation in the lungs, preventing adequate airflow. No cure currently exists for these chronic lung conditions, but comprehensive management can improve symptoms and slow disease progression. Possible treatments include oxygen therapy, medications, and surgery,

Pulmonary rehabilitation, considered an essential component of COPD management, can improve breathing and quality of life and reduce the need for pharmaceuticals and other interventions. Unfortunately, access to pulmonary rehabilitation isn’t universal. Cost, location, time commitment, and other factors can prohibit patients from getting access to these benefits.

Kaia’s innovative app helps patients with COPD improve their lung health and capability through 15-minute daily training sessions. It also supports behavior changes with COPD education modules and instruction in mindfulness and stress relief techniques. And users have access to certified coaches and counselors with training in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, positive psychology, and other techniques that improve mental wellness.

In a pilot trial, Kaia’s digital therapeutic app demonstrated a significant effect on fatigue, exercise mastery, and emotional function. It’s currently part of a European randomized, controlled trial. The app has earned the European CE mark as a Class One medical device.

Chiesi Group, an 85-year old organization with an extensive background in pharmaceutical research, has added health tech and biotech solutions to its research platform in recent years. This background, along with the Chiesi group’s experience in the field of respiratory health, should help place the Kaia mobile app at the forefront of digital solutions for COPD.