Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term, progressive lung disease, which includes several respiratory conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and non-reversible asthma.
Symptoms include breathing difficulties, a persistent cough, wheezing, and excessive mucus production.
According to WHO, 65 million people worldwide have moderate to severe COPD and millions more may have the disease without even knowing it. By 2030, COPD will become the third cause of mortality and seventh cause of morbidity worldwide.
COPD is caused by long-term exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution, and irritating gases. COPD is a disease common to smokers but many people, who have never had a single cigarette, can be affected.
If not treated properly, COPD can increase the risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and other serious conditions.
The good news is that COPD is treatable and manageable and most people can control their symptoms and have a good quality of life. Treatment involves the regular intake of prescription medication, but can also include oxygen therapy and physiotherapy.
Treatment can also include smartphones and mobile apps. There are many mobile apps available for both patients with COPD and the healthcare providers who treat them.
These mobile apps can be used to help people with COPD self-manage their health and wellness with convenience while being on the move.
Healthcare professionals can use them to access valuable information regarding the COPD, to communicate with their patients, and collaborate with their colleagues.
Here, we listed some of the most popular and most useful COPD apps for both providers and their patients.
my mhealth App
my mhealth app allows access to four different apps intended for patients with Asthma, COPD, Diabetes and Heart Disease. Each app can be bought separately for £20.
myCOPD helps COPD patients at any stage of their disease to better manage their condition. Patients can use the app to learn how to use the inhaler and reduce errors, improve their breathing, reduce exacerbations, track their medication use, and more.
Clinicians can also use myCOPD app to check in with their patients remotely, track their condition, and update medication, in order to improve their overall care.
my mhealth and its related apps are available for free download on iOS only.
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The COPD Pocket Consultant Guide app is intended for clinicians who manage and treat patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The app works as an interactive version of the popular Pocket Consultant Guide (PCG), including the two most recommended COPD patient assessment questionnaires, COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and the mMRC, along with a full patient assessment, which is the current recommended method for determining which medications should be prescribed to COPD patient.
The app is available for free, currently only on iOS. Although promised for 2017, the Android version still hasn't been released.
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COPD @Point of Care App
Most apps developed by @Point of Care clinical decision-making mobile platform use IBM Watson to allow clinicians an access to a curated, evidence-based, and disease-specific medical content, by simply asking voice-enabled natural language questions.
Similar to other apps made by @Point of Care, COPD @Point of Care provides relevant and updated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease content, with topics in diagnosis, treatment, and care management developed with expert physician authors.
The app also provides case studies, videos, and interviews. Clinicians can use it to access actionable patient-recorded data, and continuing medical education credit (CME/CE).
COPD @Point of Care app is available for free on iOS only.
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My COPD Manager App
@Point of Care also develop apps for patients. My COPD Manager is a tool that enables patients with COPD to track their condition and store relevant health information between clinician visits.
Patients can use the app to record detailed information regarding their health in a digital journal, manage their medications and treatments, track COPD-related symptoms and side effects, access patient education materials, and share their information with their healthcare provider between and during visits.
The app is free to download and use. However, just like the other @Point of Care apps, My COPD Manager is available only on iOS.
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Gold 2017 Pocket Guide App
Gold 2017 Pocket Guide app is intended for physicians, and other healthcare professionals involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COPD.
The app provides the access to Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2017 Reports, as well as various interactive tools such as ABCD assessment tool, mMRC Dyspnea Scale, CAT assessment, treatment algorithm, and more, that can be used at the point of care.
Gold Pocket Guide app is available for Android and iOS for $2.99.
Propeller Health App
Propeller Health is an FDA-approved app that works with asthma and COPD inhalers to help people with the condition gain control over it.
The Propeller app uses sensors that simply clip onto inhalers and then send the information to the Propeller Health app whenever the patients use the inhalers.
The app generates personalized records and reminders to keep patients on track. According to the app's developers, Propeller Health users experience more symptom-free days.
The app is available for free on Android and iOS devices, including Apple Watch.
COPD Support App
COPD Support app is developed by MyCOPDTeam, which is a social network and support group for those living with COPD.
The app is basically an extension of that social network available on mobile devices. It is intended for all people with COPD helping them connect with others living with the same condition and get the emotional support, practical tips to manage their life with COPD, and insights about treatment or therapies.
COPD Support app is available for free on Android and iOS.
EPA AirNow App
Going outside is one of the biggest concerns for people with COPD. Humidity, as well as allergens and pollution in the air, can inflame and irritate the respiratory system.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the AirNow app to help eliminate some of this worry.
The app tracks the amount of air pollution in your area and provides real-time location-specific reports on current air quality, as well as air quality forecasts for both ozone and fine particle pollution (PM2.5). People with COPD can use this information to protect their health when planning their daily outdoor activities.
EPA AirNow app is available for free on iOS and Android.