COPD – Use of a Smartphone for Improved Self–Management of Pulmonary Diseases

Description:

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.

 

Outcome:

COPD is a smartphone support app that, besides continuously monitoring (every day) the condition of the patient by asking 5 simple questions concerning the symptoms of the disease (or by using external sensors to monitor the vital signs considered relevant for these patients), educates, advises and monitors the inhaler usage, based on the time, current location, medication information (using the results of previous related MSc theses) and evolution of the patient’s symptoms.

The developed app can be connected with the local pharmacy for priority communication and follows Smart Companion user interface and development guidelines.

 

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