There’s an app for COPD? (Part 1)
Last updated: May 2021
I’m not a big tech guy, especially when it comes to my iPhone.
I have it to make phone calls, to use a GPS app when I need it and to check on my bank account to make sure I haven’t gone broke – yet.
So, when one of the kids says, “Dad – you have to download this app,” I usually say thanks and hope they don’t remember to ask me what I thought of it.
And when a buddy of mine told me, “Kev – try this app,” I was hoping for the same outcome.
But when I saw the app, I knew I had to give it a try
The app is called the COPD Pocket Consultant Guide, and it’s being offered by The COPD Foundation.
It’s quickly apparent that it’s designed to be used by Doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide treatment and manage patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Much of the content of the app is obviously written for those with an advanced medical degree. There are sections with titles like “PRAXIS Nexus” and “Therapy Flowchart” that I don’t see myself ever using.
The very first section, entitled “CAT” is a COPD Assessment Test. It’s a perfect start for a professional to administer for anyone who thinks they may have developed COPD. It includes questions about “breathlessness on the stairs,” limits on activities at home and sleeping problems.
It includes features for folks like us!
A lot of the self-testing relies on a knowledge of personal “FVC1/FVC ratio” which I do not know. But, it does have features for folks like us.
One section entitled “Inhaler Education,” shows videos that offer instructions for the correct use of inhalers. As many of us already know, we often don’t use inhalers in the most productive method and miss out on some of the beneficial effects of an inhaler.
The videos leave no doubt as to the best way to use them and the inhalers it addresses include Diskus, Ellipta, Flexhaler, Handihaler, Respimat and 3 or 4 others.
It has a “Resources” section that includes a chapter on the Impact of Smoking and a smoking graph — which illustrates how smoking effectively “ages” the lungs, in case anyone needs to be reminded!
The app also has screening tests for depression and anxiety, that, as we know, is critically important to the health of everyone, not just those of us with COPD.
The app's features
As described on the COPD Foundation website, features of the StopCOPD include:
Informed consent: users are able to read the informed consent document which is displayed in a clear and easily maneuverable fashion
Surveys: participants are able to complete COPD PPRN surveys through the app as well as access additional educational information
- Active tasks: participants are also able to share additional information about themselves by performing activities that generate data using iPhone’s advanced sensors. Initial tasks include motor activities, fitness, cognition and voice
- Comparative data: future features of the app will allow participants to see how their personal data compares to others in an aggregate fashion
Overall, it is obviously a more helpful app/tool to a healthcare professional and I would not recommend drawing any conclusions or taking any actions from its results without checking first with your doctor/pulmonologist.
Consider sharing with your healthcare team!
I fact, you might share it with them in case they were not aware of it. (There's an awful lot of medical information doctors, nurses, nurse-practitioner, therapists and all medical staffers have to keep up with).
But, I found, having spent as much time as I have around those kind of professionals since my diagnosis, I understand a great deal of what the app has to offer and believe it will prove to be very useful and helpful to many of us, especially when we are able to have those kinds of conversations with our health care providers.
Do you know the difference between a COPD exacerbation and lung function decline?
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