Study: Digital Programs for COPD Management Effectively Engage Older Adults

March 17, 2022

Study: Digital Programs for COPD Management Effectively Engage Older Adults

Peer-reviewed study indicates promise for widespread adoption of virtual COPD management tools, with high engagement and satisfaction


NEW HAVEN, Conn., March 17, 2022 – Wellinks®, a digital healthcare company offering the first-ever integrated, virtual Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) management solution, today announced results from a study that found older adults with COPD were highly engaged and satisfied with Wellinks. The peer-reviewed research was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.


These findings are significant as COPD is the third leading cause of death by disease in the U.S. and the fifth most costly chronic condition, with an estimated $49 billion spent annually. The results from this study suggest that virtual COPD solutions like Wellinks present an effective, engaging way to help seniors, and those living with COPD, to manage their respiratory conditions.


“We believe that integrating software, devices, and human-powered virtual care into one solution can play an important role in successful COPD management,” said Alex Waldron, CEO of Wellinks. “These findings validate our approach and signal that interconnected health tools can successfully engage and delight patients, even those who are often assumed to be on the other side of the ‘digital divide.’ We’re now building from this foundation by simultaneously conducting additional clinical research, furthering product development, and bringing Wellinks to market.”


For the eight-week study, participants each received access to the Wellinks phone application, which automatically recorded health data from devices, including a connected pulse-oximeter and spirometer, over eight weeks. The average participant was 80 years old, and more than half of the participants had severe COPD. All participants achieved the weekly engagement goal of one pulse oximetry reading per week and most patients met the goal of one spirometry reading per week. On average, patients entered their medication use nine times per week and symptoms at least once per week.


Importantly, 94 percent of participants either agreed or strongly agreed that the Wellinks app was easy to use, and 81 percent said that it was valuable for managing their COPD. Overall, the tools received a Net Promoter Score of 59, which indicates a very high level of patient satisfaction.


“Healthcare is experiencing a major revolution in the care of patients with chronic disease through the introduction of mobile health apps and virtually enabled care” said the study’s principal investigator Dr Brian Gelbman, associate clinical professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital.“For COPD patients, who have unique needs and challenges, it is essential to properly test and validate these new resources. It’s exciting to see this population of chronically ill patients successfully engage with multiple devices tied to one common mobile app capable of synthesizing and relaying the data to the physician and care team.”


This announcement comes on the heels of Wellinks announcing a $25 million funding round led by Morningside Ventures. The funding will support the development of additional clinical research studies, like the recently announced ASPIRE study in collaboration with the COPD Foundation, examining both the clinical and economic outcomes of the virtual-first solution.


About Wellinks

Wellinks is on a mission to help those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) live fully and breathe freely. COPD is the third leading cause of death by disease in the U.S.and the fifth most costly chronic condition. With its personalized, virtual-first COPD management system, Wellinks breaks down barriers for patients, providing the evidence-based care they need and deserve outside the four walls of the clinic. Wellinks supports patients through virtual pulmonary rehabilitation, health coaching, and monitoring through connected devices and an easy-to-use smartphone app. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Wellinks is led by a team of digital health veterans and backed by top investment firms including Morningside, HighCape Capital, Connecticut Innovations, and Benslie. For more information, visit and follow on Twitter (@WellinksHealth) and LinkedIn.