Respiratory diseases are leading causes of death and disability in the world. About 65 million people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 3 million die from it each year, making it the third leading cause of death worldwide. About 334 million people suffer from asthma, the most common chronic disease of childhood affecting 14% of all children globally. Pneumonia kills millions of people annually and is a leading cause of death among children under 5 years old. Over 10 million people develop tuberculosis (TB) and 1.4 million die from it each year, making it the most common lethal infectious disease. Lung cancer kills 1.6 million people each year and is the most deadly cancer. Globally, 4 million people die prematurely from chronic respiratory disease. At least 2 billion people are exposed to indoor toxic smoke, 1 billion inhale outdoor pollutant air and 1 billion are exposed to tobacco smoke. The “big five” killers with respect to respiratory diseases include COPD, asthma, acute lower respiratory tract infections, TB and lung cancer. The causes of respiratory diseases can be broadly grouped into infectious or chronic / non-infectious. The latter category includes exposures from environmental, behavioral, or even genetic sources.

Respiratory Diseases: Infectious

Diseases that can infect the respiratory system include but are not limited to the following: Chickenpox (varicella), Coronavirus infections (including SARS-CoV-1 and 2 and MERS-CoV), Diphtheria, Group A streptococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Influenza (flu), Legionnaires’ disease, Measles (rubeola), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Mumps, Pneumonia, Pneumococcal meningitis, Rubella (German measles), Tuberculosis, Whooping cough (pertussis), Anthrax, Hantavirus, Psittacosis, Plague, Q Fever and Tularemia.

Respiratory Diseases: Chronic / Non-Infectious

Chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kill more than four million people every year and affect hundreds of millions more. These diseases erode the health and well-being of the patients and have a negative impact on families and societies. Women and children are particularly vulnerable, especially those in low and middle income countries (LMICs), where they are exposed on a daily basis to indoor air pollution from solid fuels for cooking and heating. In high income countries, tobacco is the most important risk factor for chronic respiratory diseases, and in some of these countries, tobacco use among women and young people is still increasing.

RSM’s Disease Management System: Improving Health of the Population through Better Systems

Respiratory diseases are critical to track as part of any surveillance system. Disease or syndrome specific focus areas including those of respiratory etiology as described above, combine with smart IT systems, and are part of RSM’s Disease Management System.

This system – a disease management, surveillance, and reporting system – helps provide a “patient 360” degree view within a given jurisdiction, across Divisions or Departments within a jurisdiction. The system can be used for multiple diseases, infectious and chronic, and allows state or local agencies to view patients/cases regardless of point or nature of intake. For example, a case initially seen in a county or state for substance abuse or mental health would also be accessible by the epidemiologist and vice versa. A case of COVID-19, pneumococcal meningitis, or food borne disease in a state or county could be monitored, evaluated, and managed in a single system. Simultaneously, support for supplemental nutrition or substance abuse can be logged and monitored. These are only a few examples of innovative solution architecture that allows the system to take on the important challenges of reducing the number of silos within a jurisdiction and supporting the creation of a healthier community through better design and use of information technology.

If you’re interested in seeing RSM’s Disease Management System in action, please reach out to Dr Rohit Chitale for more information, or Contact us to explore our company and Disease Management solution.

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