Momentum telemedicine service descriptions

COPD Suitcase (DK)

Objectives, expected outcomes, main beneficiaries

The service’s main aim is to reduce the rate of readmission of severity 3 and 4 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients within the three-month period following hospital admission with some form of exacerbation. Other outcomes are intended to increase the number of days to the first readmission, to increase the FEV1, to improve the quality of life (SF36), and to improve the cost-effectiveness of COPD treatments.

Outcomes and results include:

• Reduced rate of readmissions and increased time between admissions to hospital.
• Cost savings (from a hospital perspective). Improved quality of life.

The main beneficiaries are COPD patients, healthcare provider organisations, and the national and regional health authorities.

Targeted population, number of patients

COPD patients are admitted to hospital when they experience a worsening of their disease. This group of people is severely ill, and the patients prefer to stay at home as opposed to spending time in hospital. Up to ten patients per month receive the COPD Briefcase service. Nationally, it is estimated that up to 10,000 patients could benefit from the service.

Type of telemedicine service

The COPD Briefcase can be categorised in the home-hospitalisation category of telemedicine services, and the relationship is with the patient/secondary care.

Set-up that was being replaced

Usually, patients are not provided with follow-up after discharge from hospital. If they experience problems related to their disease, they can contact their general practitioner or call an ambulance for additional admission to hospital.

Detailed description

Patients discharged from hospital after some form of COPD exacerbation are provided with a briefcase with a secure Internet connection. The briefcase is then used to call the hospital once a day for one week for consultations with COPD nurses in order to secure a stable state of disease on the part of the patient for the time being.

Four items of supplementary information on the service are available (all documentation in English):

1. Short history of COPD Briefcase (originally an eTEN project, Better Breathing) (undated, PDF created 20 Mar 2012)
2. Medisat product brochure for The Patient Briefcase (five pages; undated, PDF created 8 May 2012)
3. Med-e-tel presentation of COPD Briefcase trials in Norway (undated; PDF created (from PowerPoint presentation) 23 June 2012)
4. Short report of Odense University Hospital conducting a study of the COPD Briefcase. Contains a clear, concise description of how it works (1.5 pages; undated, PDF created 15 Apr 2011)

Operational status

The service is operational and part of the mainstream health service.

Further information

This organisation has a strategy for telemedicine which was launched in 2013. The organisation also has a strategy – called Health IT – in other health-related or IT domains that includes telemedicine. It was launched in 2012.