Respiratory health management company Respiri (ASX: RSH) has entered into commercial discussions with Australian start-up Practice Innovators International Pte Ltd with a view to launching an integrated telehealth service for asthma patients.
The joint development agreement will see Respiri integrate its wheezo eHealth software as a service diagnostic and monitoring technology into Practice Innovators’ proprietary telehealth platform known as GPNow.
It follows a similar deal signed this month between Respiri and remote healthcare provider Phenix Health.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Respiri and Practice Innovators will be responsible for training their business partners in the telehealth service enabling easy access to the wheezo SaaS and medical device, which allows asthmatics to measure, manage and monitor conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease before an acute attack occurs.
The development pathway is expected to facilitate asthma care beyond the clinic.
Respiri chief executive officer Marjan Mikel said the partnership would allow both companies to participate in the rapidly-growing telehealth market.
“The progression to a binding agreement will further leverage our telehealth capability in Australia and help deliver better respiratory care to some of our country’s most needy people,” he said.
“It will also help contribute to closing the indigenous health gap and [we will] progressively move it into South East Asia as Practice Innovators expands its business internationally.”
He said GPNow would be married with wheezo to create a powerful, “patient-centric” vehicle with “enormous reach” for the delivery of comprehensive asthma care plans.
“Leveraging our analytics at ‘point of care’ via virtual consultations with a GPNow-certified doctor or respiratory specialist creates a powerful combination to help asthmatics live with this challenging condition,” he said.
“We are excited to partner with Practice Innovators to improve patient care for those affected with respiratory issues.”
The GPNow telehealth platform was launched in 2017 to provide private and secure access to certified medical professionals, regardless of patient location.
It is currently engaged with aged care facilities, aboriginal groups, bushfire-affected communities and associations such as Spinal Cord Injuries Australia which uses the platform to connect clients with neurology therapists and support coordinators.
Mr Mikel said the coronavirus pandemic had “acutely focussed” the world’s medical industry on prevention, management and monitoring of respiratory disease.
In March, three of China’s hospitals requested Respiri’s wheezo device to help monitor the lung function of patients admitted with COVID-19.
The trial will be conducted under the supervision of the Chongqing Municipal Health Commission.
“As wheezo is not registered with China’s National Medical Products Administration, [we] will continue to progress discussions with these hospitals to ensure all regulatory hurdles are met prior to supplying the sample devices,” Mr Mikel said.
Respiri anticipates the execution of additional binding agreements during the July quarter.
At mid-afternoon, shares in Respiri were trading 4.35% lower at $0.066.