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Stevens Health, Technology, and Society roundtable: Oct. 31

HOBOKEN, N.J. The examination of clinical, technical, managerial and financial components of healthcare delivery to the non hospital-bound asthmatic and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) patient will be the topic of Stevens Institute of Technologys next healthcare roundtable, to be held Wednesday, October 31, 2007, from 3-5 p.m. in Room 122 of The Babbio Center (located on 6th and River Streets in Hoboken, NJ).

Roundtable participants will discuss the role of mobile information system platforms, portable spirometry, web-based specialist networks, smoking cessation efforts, nursing home and home care organization support, nutrition and exercise, and other related factors.

Approximately 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, defined as a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway causing shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, coughing and wheezing. In addition, asthma and allergies strike 1 out of 4 Americans. The economic impact of treating asthma is sizable. For example:

  • Direct health care costs for asthma in the United States total $18 billion annually, $5 billion of which are for prescription drugs.

  • Due to asthma, every day in America 40,000 people miss school or work; 30,000 people have an asthma attack; 5,000 people visit the emergency room; and 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital.

Currently, it is estimated that 16 million people in the United States are diagnosed with COPD, an umbrella term used to describe lung disease associated with airflow obstruction. Most generally, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, either alone or combined, fall into this category. COPD is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the US and is projected to be the third leading cause of death by the year 2020. Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor and is directly related to the progression of this disease. The economic impact of COPD, like asthma, is sizable. For example:

  • The total estimated cost of COPD in 2002 was $32 billion$18 billion for direct costs and $14 million for indirect costs.

  • In 2000, about 1.5 million emergency room visits made by adults 25 and older were due to COPD.

The forum will provide professionals from diverse backgroundsincluding researchers, physicians, vendors, and healthcare administratorsthe opportunity to discuss obstacles and solutions for enhancing healthcare delivery to these patients. Patrick A. Berzinski, Director of University Communications at Stevens, will moderate the forum.


Contact: Maria Molina
Stevens Institute of Technology

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