Philips launches global education and empowerment effort for World COPD Day


Ahead of World COPD Day on November 15, Royal Philips , a leader in health technology, announced the launch of a global movement to raise awareness for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide and is estimated to be the third leading cause by 2020[1] but there is a lack of awareness and social stigma associated with the disease. Only about half of the estimated 210 million people with the disease have been officially diagnosed.[2] In an effort to break these barriers, Philips is collaborating with COPD athlete Russell Winwood to create motivational content designed to help educate, engage and empower COPD patients and their caregivers.

“COPD is among the most common, underdiagnosed, debilitating, deadly and costly diseases to manage,” said Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, Chief Medical Liaison at Philips. “People can’t find solutions for a problem they don’t know they have or implement solutions they don’t know exist. At Philips, we are committed to making lives better for COPD patients, from education to developing innovative therapy solutions, and that with the right diagnosis, management plan and support group, people diagnosed with COPD can still live a full and active life.”

Philips is working with Russell Winwood to share his personal journey with other COPD patients and inspire them to live their lives to the fullest. After being diagnosed with COPD, Russell found it difficult to move forward with his everyday routine; however, just six months after his diagnosis, he completed his first full Ironman and continues to participate in triathlons around the world, showing that a COPD diagnosis does not need to stop patients from enjoying their favorite activities.

For recently diagnosed COPD patients, Winwood shares his advice for living well:

  • Knowledge: Understand what it means to have COPD. Visit your doctor and create an action plan to help track your progress.
  • Medication: While there is no cure for COPD, there are many treatment options including prescription drugs and positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy that can help patients maintain a better quality of life.
  • Nutrition: A healthy diet is incredibly important for COPD patients as a poor diet can make symptoms worse and affect the ability to exercise. The right nutrition can even help patients breathe easier.
  • Exercise: Exercise can help improve cardio-respiratory fitness level by strengthening large muscle groups within one’s body while also improving circulation.

“I first heard of COPD when I was diagnosed, and I was devastated,” said Winwood. “I wish I understood that this wasn’t a death sentence, and it doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love. With the support of my wife and family, I vowed that I wouldn’t allow this disease to take control of my life.”

This is Philips third consecutive year leading initiatives on World COPD Day to raise awareness for the debilitating disease. In 2015, the stage was set with the Breathless Choir. In 2016, Philips asked the world to #BreatheBoldly through a straw to show empathy for those living with COPD. But awareness and education are just some of the ways Philips is helping people breathe easier worldwide. Philips offers patient-inspired COPD and respiratory disease management solutions that support each stage of the health continuum – from healthy living, through diagnosis, treatment and homecare – all while empowering consumers to live the active lifestyle they desire.

The wide variety of Philips therapy solutions for COPD patients include OptiChamber Diamond spacer, InnoSpire Go next-generation portable mesh nebulizer that provide fast and efficient aerosol drug delivery, SimplyGo Mini lightweight portable oxygen concentrator, DreamStation Advanced Therapies, and Trilogy hospital-to-home ventilators. DreamStation and Trilogy now connect patients, payers, providers and physicians via Care Orchestrator, turning medical-grade data in to actionable information.

For more information about Russell’s story, Philips COPD solutions, or to help spread the message in support of COPD patients worldwide, please visit For every share these videos receive, Philips will donate $1 to further globalize the impact of The COPD Foundation. By donating to

The COPD Foundation, Philips will help extend the organization’s ability to educate, engage and empower patients, providers and physicians all over the world. Visit

[1] Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. 2017. Retrieved from:
[2] COPD Foundation, COPD Uncovered Report. 2011. Retrieved from:

For further information, please contact:
Elena Calamo Specchia
Philips Group Press Office
Mobile: +31 6 25004735

Meredith Amoroso
Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care
Mobile: +1 724-584-8991

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips’ health technology portfolio generated 2016 sales of EUR 17.4 billion and employs approximately 73,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

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