Feasibility of a wearable self-management application for patients with COPD at home: a pilot study

Robert Wu, Eyal de Lara, Daniyal Liaqat, Salaar Liaqat, Jun Lin Chen, Tatiana Son, Andrea Gershon

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 1-8, BioMed Central, March 2024



BACKGROUND Among people with COPD, smartphone and wearable technology may provide an effective method to improve care at home by supporting, encouraging, and sustaining self-management. The current study was conducted to determine if patients with COPD will use a dedicated smartphone and smartwatch app to help manage their COPD and to determine the effects on their self-management. METHODS We developed a COPD self-management application for smartphones and smartwatches. Participants were provided with the app on a smartphone and a smartwatch, as well as a cellular data plan and followed for 6 months.We measured usage of the different smartphone app functions. For the primary outcome, we examined the change in self-management from baseline to the end of follow up. Secondary outcomes include changes in self-efficacy, quality of life, and COPD disease control. RESULTS Thirty-four patients were enrolled and followed. Mean age was 69.8 years, and half of the participants were women. The most used functions were recording steps through the smartwatch, entering a daily symptom questionnaire, checking oxygen saturation, and performing breathing exercises. There was no significant difference in the primary outcome of change in self-management after use of the app or in overall total scores of health-related quality of life, disease control or self-efficacy. CONCLUSION We found older patients with COPD would engage with a COPD smartphone and smartwatch application, but this did not result in improved self-management. More research is needed to determine if a smart phone and smartwatch application can improve self-management in people with COPD.