According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, currently 210 million people have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and 3 million people die of COPD every year. The WHO predicts that COPD will become the fourth leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. Total deaths from COPD are projected to increase by more than 30% in the next 10 years unless urgent preventive measures are in place. Also in the Portuguese media, the pulmonary diseases are having a lot of attention with the related health associations alerting to the rising incidence of the disease within the Portuguese population. Several national organizations recently alerted to the prevalence of this disease and the need for solutions to adequately monitor and support medication intake.
In fact, and although medical treatment of COPD has advanced, non-adherence to medication regimens poses a significant barrier to optimal management. Underuse, overuse, and improper use continues to be the most common causes of poor adherence to therapy. An average of 40%–60% of patients with COPD adheres to the prescribed regimen and only 1 out of 10 patients with a metered dose inhaler performs all essential steps correctly.
Author: Joana Costa
Type: MSc thesis
Partner: Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto