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Over 40 million Americans With COPD and Asthma Are at Greater Risk During Flu Season

October 21, 2022

Now that cold and flu season is here, it is important that people who have COPD, asthma, and other respiratory disorders monitor their oxygen saturation levels to help prevent more issues. Providers know that the more than 40 million Americans who suffer from these disorders are at greater risk for severe complications from the flu and that can lead to hospitalization or even death if they aren’t managed properly.

Influenza is often the reason for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Exacerbations could include the worsening of airflow obstruction, hospitalization, reduced quality of life, disease progression, death, and ultimately, substantial healthcare-related costs.1

“People with COPD have compromised lung function and are at high risk for getting influenza,” said Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

In addition, “the flu can restrict breathing even more when you have asthma due to swelling and narrowing of airways. This can trigger asthma symptoms, an asthma episode, or an asthma attack. If you have asthma, protecting yourself from the flu is very important,” Asthma and Allergy Foundation stated on their website.2

While there is some evidence that a person is more likely to get the flu just because they have asthma or COPD, there is a greater risk for more severe complications, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, which could require hospitalization as a result of the infection.3 Even people who don’t have severe asthma symptoms or have their symptoms under control are at a high risk of serious health problems from the flu.

“While It is always important to monitor oxygen saturation levels for patients with COPD or asthma, it becomes vital if they are diagnosed with the flu,” said Dr. Bill Lewis, a national telemedicine consultant and prior Chair of the Telemedicine Accreditation Committee. “If a provider can receive accurate, up-to-date readings, they may be able to adjust the patient’s plan of care, which could prevent hospitalization.”

Smart Meter’s cellular-enabled iPulseOx, the world’s first cellular pulse oximeter, is an effective and efficient method for helping patients with COPD and Asthma better manage their health. The easy-to-use iPulseOx transmits the patient’s oxygen saturation levels immediately through our exclusive AT&T 4/5G CAT-M network to their provider. Real-time measurements help providers to make timely, better-informed care management decisions.

About Smart Meter, LLC

Smart Meter is the trusted supplier of Remote Patient Monitoring (“RPM”) solutions.  We empower distribution partners and healthcare providers who are transforming patient care. Millions of vital health data readings are reliably delivered across our platform to enable real-time, better-informed health care. Our proprietary patient-friendly cellular FDA-registered monitoring devices are connected to an exclusive AT&T 4/5G network to ensure an engaging patient experience for improved adherence. For more information, visit

1 Seasonal influenza vaccination in patients with COPD: a systematic literature review - PubMed (

2 People with Asthma Are at High Risk for Complications from Flu |

3 Frontiers | Influenza in Asthmatics: For Better or for Worse? (