IMPROVING TELECARE FOR PATIENTS with COPD

To give you some air.

 

Patients that suffer from lung diseases can improve their lives by linking datasets in a smart way.

Measuring breathing techniques is only the beginning. 

 

Of all major causes of death in the world, COPD is the only one that is increasing. At present, 5% of the world's population dies from the effects of COPD. It usually only occurs at an older age, but sometimes due to a hereditary disease it shows earlier. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that COPD will be the third leading cause of death in 2030. Besides the human suffering caused by this disease, the costs for health care therefore run into the hundreds of millions of euros. A relatively large number of hospital admissions are now taking place, were if in situations there had been earlier detection and possible intervention, this might have been resolved in an earlier stage. Then a hospitalization is immediately necessary, while it is known that a hospitalization does not necessarily improve the health and quality of life of the patient.

The quality of life for patients with COPD and other lung diseases is closely related to the number of exacerbations. An exacerbation is a deterioration of the patient’s condition within a few days, characterised by an increase of stuffiness and coughing. Besides the personal impact exacerbations result in extraordinarily high healthcare costs. 

Early detecting or predicting exacerbations would be beneficial for good integral care and adequate self-management due to better insights into vital functions. A real add on for the care chain of a patient with COPD. Quality of life improves with better insight into the disease and better self-management of patients. In February 2018 Kinetic Analysis® set up a cluster of projects around Smart Textiles for patients with COPD, in collaboration with three Dutch universities. Valuable input is collected in several phases.

 

One particular project that accurately defined preconditions won several prizes among others from the V&VN (Professional association for Nurses of the Netherlands).

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In the past years, various disciplines, from designers to technicians, have been working behind the scenes to bring smart textiles to market in different industries. Kinetic Analysis' shirt for lung patients is a great example of these efforts, resulting in a matured product that was implemented in a B2B market.

The shirt enables patients with lung diseases to better monitor themselves at home on the basis of objective body parameters like activity patterns, breathing technique, and other vital functions. As a result, ad hoc problems will arise less quickly due to adequate detection and feedback to the user. This helps increase patient self-management, gives both the patient and the physician much more and better information about the course of the disease, improving telecare practise. Early signalling allows patients to be treated more effective and efficient. Future applied clinical research will be performed in close collaboration with our academic and industrial parties. Interreg is one of the key instruments of the European Union supporting this cooperation across borders through project funding.

Improving telecare for COPD patients
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A project supported by Interreg

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