Digital Intervention Beneficial for Patients Hospitalised with COPD Exacerbation

Pavankumar Kamat

November 03, 2020

A digital healthcare app called MyCOPD could help individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to recover faster after hospital admission and decrease re-exacerbation of symptoms, suggests a new study published in the  NPJ Digital Medicine.

In a feasibility trial, researchers randomly assigned 41 patients hospitalised with severe exacerbations of COPD to either usual treatment alone or usual treatment plus access to the MyCOPD app.

Over a period of three months, the frequency of additional exacerbations in the MyCOPD app group was nearly half that in the usual treatment alone group (18 vs 34). Additionally, the incorrect use of inhalers fell by approximately 80% in the MyCOPD app group compared with around 30% in the usual treatment alone group. Despite MyCOPD app users having an average age of >65 years and not being regular web users, all of them were able to adapt to the technology.

MyCOPD, developed by my mhealth, is one of the few health apps to have received approval from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Professor Tom Wilkinson from the University of Southampton who led the app development and the study said: "The transition towards digital healthcare has been taking place for some time but has accelerated since the outbreak of COVID-19. Patients with conditions such as COPD can be particularly vulnerable now so it is important that we have evidence of the effectiveness of these technologies."

North M, Bourne S, Green B et al. A randomised controlled feasibility trial of E-health application supported care vs usual care after exacerbation of COPD: the RESCUE trial. NPJ Digit Med. 2020 Oct 30. doi: 10.1038/s41746-020-00347-7 View full text

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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