Brisbane, Australia, 19 December 2019 — ResApp Health Limited (ASX:RAP), a leading digital health company developing smartphone applications for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease, is pleased to announce that it has received ethics approval from the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee for a pilot, double-blind study of its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) screening smartphone application (app) in an Indigenous Australian population. The study will be carried out at the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service in Western Australia and the principal investigator will be Dr Scott Claxton, Respiratory Physician at GenesisCare and a member of ResApp’s scientific advisory board.
COPD is a serious lung disease that mainly affects older people and is associated with and caused by smoking and/or environmental pollutants. Indigenous Australians die from COPD at a rate 10 times greater than non-Indigenous Australians and it is the most common type of respiratory disease for which Indigenous Australians are hospitalised. Diagnosis of COPD is based on a combination of self-reported symptoms and measurement of lung function by spirometry, which is unavailable in many remote communities.
The study will recruit up to 200 subjects over a six-month period at the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service. Each subject will undergo a full clinical and spirometric assessment, and results from ResApp’s COPD screening app will be compared to the final clinical diagnosis.
ResApp’s COPD screening app analyses a patient’s cough sounds to identify COPD. In a prior study, conducted at Joondalup Health Campus in Perth, Western Australia, the app was able to identify COPD in a broad general population with 86% positive percent agreement (sensitivity) and 85% negative percent agreement (specificity) when compared to a clinical diagnosis.
“COPD is a major burden on the health of Indigenous Australians and diagnosis is the first step in reducing that burden,” said Dr Scott Claxton. “Early diagnosis and effective management of COPD can improve quality of life, increase life expectancy and decrease the need for high cost interventions. This has the potential to help close the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”
Tony Keating, CEO and Managing Director of ResApp added, “We are excited about the opportunity to deliver a clinically accurate screening test for COPD in communities with limited access to healthcare. Increasing the availability of diagnosis has the potential to make a positive difference in the health of Indigenous Australians and we look forward to working closely with the Mid West and Murchison communities to make this study a success.”
About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease caused by the narrowing of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. The Global Burden of Disease Study reports that there were 251 million cases of COPD globally in 2016. The primary cause of COPD is exposure to tobacco smoke, and it is the third leading cause of death worldwide. An acute exacerbation of COPD is a sudden worsening of COPD symptoms that is triggered by an infection or by environmental factors. COPD cannot be cured; however treatment can help relieve symptoms, improve quality of life and reduce the risk of death.
About Positive and Negative Percent Agreement
Positive percent agreement (the substitute for sensitivity) is the proportion of patients with the disease that test positive. Negative percent agreement (specificity) is the proportion of patients without the disease that test negative.
About ResApp Health Limited
ResApp Health Limited (ASX: RAP) is a leading digital health company developing smartphone applications for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease. ResApp’s machine learning algorithms use sound to diagnose and measure the severity of respiratory conditions without the need for additional hardware. Clinical studies have demonstrated accurate diagnosis of lower respiratory tract disease, upper respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, croup, asthma exacerbation/reactive airway disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation and obstructive sleep apnoea. ResApp’s smartphone-based acute respiratory disease diagnostic test, ResAppDx-EU, is CE Marked in the European Union and TGA approved in Australia. Potential customers of ResApp’s products include healthcare providers in telehealth, emergency department, urgent care and primary care settings as well as humanitarian organisations in the developing world. For more information, visit www.resapphealth.com.au