Digital therapeutics company Kaia Health has announced that it will be undertaking a feasibility study to assess the effectiveness of its digital therapeutic treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Japan’s ageing population.

The company uses AI-powered technology to provide digital treatment alternatives for some of the biggest global health challenges.

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Kaia Health founder and CEO Konstantin Mehl said: “Conventional COPD treatment is expensive and resource-intense, particularly in developed countries such as Japan which has a huge ageing populations and rapidly increasing healthcare costs.

“Our AI-powered COPD treatment is effective, widely accessible and can be used at home. This empowers patients to take control and self-manage their COPD with evidenced-based, non-pharmacological, affordable alternatives which means more people globally can benefit from it.

“Our mission is to reduce the socioeconomic burden of COPD in Japan and the impact it may have on the working-age population which, ultimately, could inform healthcare policies worldwide.”

The study in Japan follows on from a German pilot study, which showed that the digital treatment could successfully decrease COPD symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization, COPD will be the third leading cause of death in the world by 2030.

COPD is considered a major health problem in Japan and a socioeconomic burden. Of all the country’s patients, 8.6% of those over 40 years old have COPD and this increases to 10.3% for those over 60.

If the feasibility study proves to be successful then the Kaia Health COPD app could be made available in Japan.

Amongst many feature, the app has been designed to teach patients about nutrition, breathing and coughing techniques, and includes psychosocial support and advice about how air pollution can affect the condition. Alerts also inform patients when they should take their medication and video instructions are available to show them how to inhale the medication correctly.

The app has a training algorithm which adjusts the support based on each patient’s profile and feedback.

In January, Kaia Health successfully raised $10m in Series A round funding which it will use to expand the digital therapy business.