Transforming Cardiopulmonary Care with NuvoAir's Virtual-First Care Model

NuvoAir's virtual-first care model is transforming the way we approach cardiopulmonary care, by bringing together the best of remote monitoring, telehealth, population health, and more.

Lorenzo ConsoliPublished on 2023-06-21

Complex diseases of the lung and heart like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) affect over 25 million Americans each year. These conditions, intimately connected both by physiology and outcomes, place undue economic burdens on the healthcare system costing billions of dollars each year and accounting for over 2 million hospitalizations. And despite advancements in technology and care, the cost of care is still rising—as are preventable hospitalizations and deaths.

Such complex conditions demand innovative clinical services to curb skyrocketing costs and prevent vulnerable, costly patients from being left behind. These solutions must be able to provide ongoing support, expand access to care, and mitigate the impact of exacerbations.

The challenges facing cardiopulmonary care today

The current state of cardiopulmonary care faces a multitude of interrelated challenges, namely the complex nature of the diseases, access concerns, the burden on the healthcare system, and the limitations of current solutions.

Complex diseases and complex needs

Cardiopulmonary diseases are defined by their complexity and progressive nature. Individuals with these diagnoses often struggle to maintain their quality of life as their conditions deteriorate, struggling to breathe, ambulate, and do the things they love to do. Many who are diagnosed with COPD have one or more comorbidities. In fact, one in three patients with COPD also has CHF.

To make things worse, pulmonologists top the list as the hardest-to-fill job in healthcare, and there is little relief on the horizon. As the demand for managing lung conditions continues to increase, pulmonologists are far more likely to be of retirement age in the next 5-10 years than other disciplines.

Managing flare-ups and exacerbations

These diseases are also prone to exacerbations—acute and severe flare-ups that can result in hospitalization and even death. Exacerbations account for 62.5% of hospital admissions and drive over 70% of related healthcare costs. Managing these flare-ups requires consistent and coordinated care, which is often difficult to deliver through a fragmented healthcare system. Managing exacerbations is further complicated by patient disengagement and a shortage of specialty care providers, especially in rural areas.

Present solutions aren’t delivering meaningful outcomes

Solutions available to health systems and providers today are not yet able to deliver meaningful outcomes that address the complex web of challenges individuals with cardiopulmonary conditions face. The proliferation of telehealth has certainly expanded access to care through virtual appointments, but patient engagement remains a challenge, especially among this patient population.

Likewise, remote monitoring devices and programs are poised to help doctors and patients alike monitor and manage symptoms. But without widespread adoption and the clinical infrastructure to take action on key biomarkers, RPM can only go so far. Finally, traditional approaches to care management and population health are difficult to scale while staying personalized to each patient’s unique needs and conditions.

Even if disease management programs are well designed, only 13% of eligible patients are participating, and in-person solutions like pulmonary rehab are accessed by less than 3% of people that could benefit. Remote pulmonary rehab works as well as in-person with much higher participation rates, with 75% of individuals saying they prefer digital tools.

Virtual-first care and NuvoAir’s unique approach

To address these issues, NuvoAir manages complexity while personalizing care at scale by providing virtual-first specialty care through our virtual clinic, combined with ongoing care supported by remote monitoring technology and an omnichannel engagement engine.

Personalized care plans and omnichannel engagement

Our virtual-first specialty care model creates personalized care plans that are tailored to each patient’s unique needs, clinical risks, and communication preferences, whether care is delivered through video appointments, phone calls, or chat. While the majority of cardiopulmonary care can be managed at home, NuvoAir will coordinate with low-cost in-home urgent care, or facilitate care with a preferred in-network provider when in-person care is needed.

Remote monitoring and timely interventions

Patients with heart and lung disease typically underestimate the severity of symptoms until it’s too late to prevent a major problem. Remote monitoring through connected devices like spirometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, and weight scales, can provide real-time insights that empower patients to manage their health proactively, and our clinical team to conduct timely interventions based on key biomarkers. So when an exacerbation is detected, both parties know when to act, and what the best action is, potentially avoiding costly office and ER visits.

For example, patients with asthma who underestimate the severity of lung function become motivated to take their control inhalers when they see that their lung function (FEV1) is low by doing spirometry at home. Similarly, heart failure exacerbations are found early by detecting an increase in fluid weight by using home weight scales, and COPD exacerbations can be found early by detecting coughs, declines in lung function (FEV1), or even a decrease in movement, using activity tracking.

Ongoing care and treatment adherence

Powered by remote monitoring, patients can receive ongoing care that adapts to their changing needs while helping them cope with the everyday realities of their symptoms. Rather than waiting weeks to months for an in-person appointment, patients can virtually meet with a provider from our multidisciplinary team within two days to help manage their treatment, utilize medications correctly, and adhere to their treatment plans.

NuvoAir’s model is transforming cardiopulmonary care

Traditional approaches to cardiopulmonary care have fallen short of addressing the totality of the issues facing people with these conditions. Remote monitoring solutions alone lack clinical teams to interpret and operationalize valuable data. On the other hand, Telehealth services are often reacting to patients when they’re seeking care, not utilizing biomarkers that could be detected by RPM. Additionally, population health solutions tend to be one-size-fits-all, lacking sufficient personalization to address the unique needs and circumstances of each patient.

NuvoAir’s model incorporates the best of each of these solutions by combining remote monitoring services with a virtual care program, simultaneously stratifying patient groups by risk factors and needs, while personalizing care plans to their unique circumstances. As a result, we drive better outcomes for patients and health systems by managing and preventing costly exacerbations while reducing the total cost of care.

To learn more about NuvoAir’s unique approach to cardiopulmonary care, contact us today.