A Care Coordinator’s Guiding Hand: Trusted Support for COPD

How a NuvoAir Care Coordinator caught the decline of Tammy's health in time.

Adrian Monti

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The reality for most people with chronic conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is that they are largely left to manage their health alone. Even if they have access to primary care and specialists, they spend 99% of their lives outside of healthcare settings. Individuals with COPD must manage day-to-day activities, medications, behavioral health challenges, and social isolation with limited support and guidance. For many, it is difficult to adhere to treatment protocols and engage in positive behavior change, such as smoking cessation, breathing exercises, and healthy eating, that can help slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life. Without support, many struggle and experience avoidable respiratory health deteriorations, recurrent exacerbations, and hospitalizations.

NuvoAir’s COPD home management program is led by licensed respiratory therapists and aims to address this gap. The program delivers proactive support grounded in empathy to help COPD members with their daily challenges from the comfort of home. NuvoAir’s respiratory therapists, called Care Coordinators in the program, build trusted relationships with members and provide a sense of safety and comfort. Members know that a qualified clinician is reviewing their data and available when they have questions or need support. Moreover, NuvoAir’s AI is constantly combing through member data to flag potentially troublesome trends for Care Coordinator follow-up.

This was the case with Tammy, a 63 year-old NuvoAir member from Indiana with GOLD Stage 3 COPD. Tammy began the program with great enthusiasm. She completed her onboarding sessions with a Care Coordinator without issues and was compliant with NuvoAir’s recommended spirometry, SpO2, and activity measurement frequencies. Her data, constantly monitored by NuvoAir’s AI, showed that her measurements were stable and in line with expectations.

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However, in her fourth month of the program, things changed. Tammy did not record any tests for several consecutive days. NuvoAir’s AI flagged the drop-off in activity and a Care Coordinator reached out via SMS, Tammy's preferred communication method. During their text conversation, the Care Coordinator asked questions about Tammy’s respiratory health and prompted her to record her SpO2. Tammy's blood oxygen levels had decreased from her normal range of 93-97% to 90% and she was experiencing a greater production of dark-colored sputum, the thick phlegm coughed up from the lungs, which can be a sign of a COPD exacerbation.

Concerned, the Care Coordinator was able to coach Tammy to contact her local healthcare team for clinical support. Tammy was reluctant at first, worried that alerting her doctor could result in hospital admission. However, the Care Coordinator was able to educate Tammy on why she should take immediate action. With her permission, the Care Coordinator sent across the details of the conversation and data collected to the local healthcare team to ensure they had the full picture.


Tammy was advised by her doctor to fill an existing prescription of antibiotics. She improved quickly with the treatment and soon returned to her usual testing cadence and her normal range of data values. The Care Coordinator’s early intervention likely prevented an escalation of her symptoms and a visit to the emergency room and hospitalization, demonstrating the value of the NuvoAir program to Tammy, her doctor, and her health plan.

About NuvoAir

NuvoAir is a person-first, relationship-based virtual care platform that proactively monitors and manages members with chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD, asthma, and cystic fibrosis to flag deterioration risk and improve care. The comprehensive human-led digital ecosystem combines care coordination services from licensed respiratory therapists, key biomarker generation and collection, member self-management resources, and a clinician portal to provide insights for health plans and providers and improve member outcomes.

The NuvoAir COPD program blends the human touch of licensed respiratory therapists (“Care Coordinators”) with technology to help members successfully manage their COPD and stay out of the hospital. NuvoAir’s Care Coordinators, the backbone of the program, take the time to form personal, trusted relationships with members during onboarding, providing Care Coordinators with the details needed to understand the member’s specific needs while building credibility. Before walking through any specifics of the program and technology, care coordinators personally introduce themselves to members and discuss their medical histories, individual journeys with COPD, personal motivations, and health goals.

Once that trust is established, Care Coordinators detail how to use the smartphone app and provided devices, including the AirNext spirometer, pulse oximeter, and activity tracker, and outline what the measurements mean without using medical jargon. As the members use their devices, respond to disease activity surveys, and access self-management and educational content, Care Coordinators, powered by NuvoAir’s AI, monitor the data for any sign of a possible deterioration and proactively reach out via the member’s preferred communication channel if any trends raise concern. If needed, Care Coordinators instruct members to contact their physicians or make the call themselves, depending on member preferences.

Importantly, the NuvoAir program enables Care Coordinators to flag and act on potential clinically significant changes in the member’s respiratory health at the earliest possible stage.

Are you interested in providing your COPD members with empathy and peace of mind?

NuvoAir is here to help. Contact us at sales@nuvoair.com to learn more about how we can transform respiratory disease management for you and your members.