Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a slowly progressive and disabling lung disease, often experience exacerbations, i.e. events of acute symptom deterioration. Exacerbations highly impact lung function decline, quality of life, and are the main reason for COPD-related unscheduled health care visits, hospitalizations and mortality. Obviously, prevention and prompt treatment of exacerbations have been formulated as main goals in COPD disease management. However, COPD patients often fail to recognize exacerbations early and to react promptly. There is a need for innovative tools that are tailored to the individual patient and support the patient with early recognition and self-management of COPD exacerbations.
In the past few years the Departments of Primary and Community Care and Pulmonary Diseases were involved in the development of a “smart” COPD application for smart phone and tablet that support patients by predicting symptom worsening and providing personalized treatment advices. The application consists of a questionnaire regarding COPD symptoms and objective parameters such as lung function, body temperature and oxygen saturation.
The application is “smart” as it uses artificial intelligence to translate the information entered by the patient in an exacerbation prediction and to learn from previous events.
Erik Bischoff (photo) and Tjard Schermer of the Department of Primary and Community Care and Yvonne Heijdra of the Department of Pulmonary Diseases have now attained a grant of 500.000 euro with their consortium to further develop the application and to make it ready for daily practice. The grant was obtained from EFRO, the European Regional Development Fund. The project is a close collaboration between the Radboudumc and the Institute of Computing Sciences of the Radboud University and the businesses Topicus and Apps4Air.