ALLENTOWN, Pa., Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Every four minutes someone dies of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). November is COPD Awareness Month and PMD Healthcare supports advocacy and education for the disease. In fact, every member of the PMD team will be wearing orange pins stating, "Ask Me About COPD" as we do our part to heighten COPD awareness. In a recent discussion Richard J. Martin, MD, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at National Jewish Health, and PMD advisor, shared his expertise on COPD. Approximately 15 million Americans unknowingly suffer from COPD in the US. Martin explains that, "broader education, continued research and advocacy will help raise awareness to the signs and symptoms and improve earlier diagnosis." Education will help reduce the cost burden of hospitalization for COPD, which exceeds $13 billion annually in the US. In fact, one in five COPD patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after being discharged. Martin explains, "Two major areas will improve outcomes. Education of patients and better home monitoring techniques to reinforce patient adherence and to alert the patient and physician to worsening of lung function before it becomes too severe, thus forcing the patient to an urgent care or emergency facility." Martin went on to say, "Modern technology is having a major impact on all fields of medicine. COPD remote monitoring holds promise for improving COPD patient's quality of life, lung function, adherence to therapeutic programs, decreasing emergency care and hospitalization." The COPD Foundation is challenging all to #GoOrange social media campaign that calls for participants to upload creative photos with their family and friends wearing orange to COPD360social and for the public to share and vote for their favorite one. Competitions like #GoOrange will help inform the public about COPD and spread greater awareness. According to Martin, such efforts are critical to decreasing the number of COPD-related deaths, skyrocketing hospital expenses and can lead to additional research efforts to improve care for patients.