On Monday, November 15th, 2021 AstraZeneca organized the first International Respiratory Summit. The event aimed to bring together relevant stakeholders in the respiratory field to inspire collaborations for a healthier world. ArtiQ was invited as one of AstraZeneca’s partners to present how AI-supported diagnostics could be part of the solution.
The global burden of respiratory diseases
Respiratory diseases are an important global healthcare problem causing one in every eight deaths. Improving the management of lung diseases can thus have a tremendous impact on the world’s health.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is one of the most critical lung diseases. The numbers are explaining us the magnitude:
- 384 million patients across the globe
- 3.2 million deaths every year – the 3rd leading cause of death
- 2.1 trillion USD costs to the global economy
Many advancements have been made in the past years to improve the treatment, management, and support of COPD patients. One issue that remains is a timely and accurate diagnosis. It is estimated that up to 80% of COPD patients remain undiagnosed.
Making it a public health priority
More and more countries recognize the impact respiratory diseases such as COPD have on their public health and are making it a priority to act:
- In their Long Term Plan, the NHS (UK) commits to doing more to detect and diagnose respiratory problems earlier.
- In the USA the NIH created the COPD National Action Plan.
- In Belgium, a proposal for resolution has been made for a more effective and comprehensive approach in the fight against COPD.
We notice that many of these plans recognize the importance of early and accurate diagnosis and highlight the essential role of lung function tests, such as spirometry.
Luckily, countries and politicians are not alone in this fight: many academic institutions, patient organizations, and industry partners are taking initiatives in this quest for better COPD care. The International Respiratory Coalition and the Speak Up for COPD campaign (see video below) are only two recent examples.
Just as in other respiratory disease areas, ArtiQ is partnering with pharmaceutical companies to improve early detection and diagnosis.
The International Respiratory Summit at the EXPO 2020
With the International Respiratory Summit live from the World EXPO in Dubai, AstraZeneca brought together relevant stakeholders to discuss opportunities to strengthen chronic respiratory disease care. Attendees, in-person and virtual, included ministers of health, healthcare system leaders, innovators, and experts from across the respiratory community.
The day consisted of plenty of networking opportunities and three inspiring sessions with different themes: the role of innovation in early disease detection, opportunities to strengthen chronic care support and system resilience, and a call for action to make COPD care a public health priority.
AI for early diagnosis
Today, ArtiQ collaborates with AstraZeneca on improving COPD diagnostics to improve the lives of these patients. At the event, ArtiQ was invited to present how artificial intelligence (AI) spirometry can be applied to the challenge of improving the early detection of chronic respiratory diseases and inspiring the audience to include innovative technologies in their public health plans.
Spirometry is essential in the diagnosis of many respiratory diseases such as COPD. The test can be performed in primary care which is key for the early detection and diagnosis. However, spirometry is often underused in this context. The main reason is that the evaluation of the quality of the test and interpretation of the result of the test is not that simple without specific lung function expertise.
ArtiQ has developed AI-based software products that offer support exactly in these areas: ArtiQ.QC automatically evaluates spirometry quality and provides specific feedback on which criteria are (not) met. ArtiQ.PFT provides an automated interpretation of the results and uses AI to support the diagnosis process.
Insporation for a healthier world
We are grateful for the opportunities that the International Respiratory Summit has given us: The opportunity to get inspired, the opportunity to share our story, the opportunity to meet people who share our mission to improve diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of patients with lung diseases.