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16 May 2018

New smart device app helps lung patients breathe easier

Local patients with long-term lung conditions are being offered an innovative new way to manage their condition.

The free MyCOPD app is a clinically approved NHS smart device app and is being offered to local patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a long-term lung condition that affects breathing.

It can be downloaded onto any internet connected smart device such as phones, tablets, computers and smart TVs using a licence code provided by specialist doctors and nurses when they are treating people  with the condition.

The app - which is being made available to patients with funding from NHS England - is full of useful advice on managing breathing difficulties associated with the condition including inhaler technique videos, education from experts and a complete online pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

Southmead resident Julie Holmes, who discovered the app from community nurses during a pulmonary rehabilitation group, has been using MyCOPD for several months and has seen a dramatic improvement in how she manages her condition.

"I started using the MyCOPD app when the community nurses explained it would help with managing my ongoing problem by providing information and videos that help to support me.

"Before using the app I was really struggling to manage my condition, now I use it daily. It has helped me to monitor my medication and I watch videos when requiring help with chest clearance and exercises.

"I find the apps features very useful but in particular the medication diary and videos demonstrating correct inhaler technique, exercises, and chest clearances."

"It really has helped me over the last few months and I'll continue to use daily for the foreseeable future"

In cases of COPD, self-management plays a crucial role in staying as healthy as possible.

Dr Mike Jenkins, clinical lead for COPD at BNSSG CCG said "After a patient is diagnosed with COPD, they are usually provided with an information leaflet. Many patients often then use the internet to find further information, which may contain conflicting or inaccurate advice.

"By giving people the MyCOPD app we can ensure they get accurate and helpful information, particularly on how to use their inhalers. Having access to good quality advice can help people manage their condition and keep themselves well."