eHealth Software-as-a-Service (Saas) company Respiri (ASX: RSH) has updated the market with news it has entered into a partnership with the Australian Patients Association (APA) to support asthma sufferers through its wheezo experiential program – a real-world asthma management study.
The tie-up means Respiri will encounter further opportunities to tweak its wheezo platform as part of practical testing in a clinical study environment.
Patients will participate in Respiri’s study and thereby help to “evolve” the wheezo platform to meet the needs of asthma patients and extend asthma care beyond the clinic, according to Respiri chief executive officer Marjan Mikel.
“It is a win for both organisations as our values are aligned on improving health outcomes for patients,” he said.
“Having patients participate in our real-world study and using our platform is very valuable and will allow us to evolve the platform to truly meet the needs of asthma patients and extend asthma care beyond the clinic,” Mr Mikel added.
To ensure its future development plans go ahead, Respiri confirmed that despite the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, manufacturing has commenced for the first batch of 3,000 wheezo devices which are due for delivery in mid-October 2020.
Partnering for research
The APA is an independent not-for-profit organisation established to promote and protect the rights and interests of patients and improve overall patient outcomes.
The organisation is connected with 1.1 million Australian patients and 15,000 healthcare practitioners nationwide, providing education and various types of support.
Currently, the APA relies on annual membership subscriptions to fund its operations as well as financial support from the general public and corporate partners.
Meanwhile, Respiri claims to have developed a world-first technology that detects wheeze, a typical symptom of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory disease to provide an objective measure of airway limitation.
According to the company, wheezo is the “only platform of its kind” because it employs machine learning to provide personalised feedback and education based on the user’s personal health data.
Moreover, the system also integrates external data and environmental factors to enable data sharing with caregivers, physicians and other healthcare professionals – a key functionality that facilitates the overarching shift towards telehealth services, digitised record-keeping and cloud computing.
The partnership announced today means Respiri and the APA will progress the wheezo experiential program as part of a study to provide asthma patients and doctors access to Respiri’s next-gen technology to monitor and log patients’ wheeze levels, asthma symptoms and medication usage, and crucially, digitise their asthma action plans, which opens the door to supplementary support services and e-health solutions.
“The APA is dedicated to championing and protecting the rights and interests of all patients and improving overall patient care and health outcomes,” APA chief executive officer Stephen Mason said.
“We are keen to support this study and see wheezo utilised in the real-world, tested by patients and their doctors, so that we can better understand the role it plays in asthma management and improvements in individual asthma care.”
FY2021 revenue guidance
In other recent news, Respiri published revenue guidance for the coming financial year and said the company anticipates product revenues in 2021 comprising of wheezo device sales and SaaS subscription revenues to be $6-8 million.
“In discussions with our partners, it has been apparent that respiratory disease patients such as asthmatics have a heightened level of awareness in effectively managing their disease, and in particular the potential for more serious adverse events from coronavirus (COVID-19) infections,” Mr Mikel said.
“In formulating our CY21 guidance, the board has considered a number of factors, including the resilience of the pharmacy channel from disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, owing to its status as an essential service, along with Cipla’s active account management of 4,000 of these pharmacies and strong commercial relationships with the major pharmacy banner groups and chains,” he added.