COPD patients in Rochdale empowered to improve their health through access to online support and education app

2019-04-29T10:29:13+01:0029th April 2019|Latest news|

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale are to be chosen to access a new app, free of charge, to help them self-manage their condition.

MyCOPD is a web-based application providing education, pulmonary rehabilitation and disease management tailored to the individual user. This means patients can access support  24/7 on their smartphones, tablet or computer to manage their health online. 750 selected patients with COPD in the borough will be offered the app free of charge by local GPs, the enhanced respiratory service, community matrons in the integrated neighbourhood teams and the smoking cessation service who are involved in the care of existing COPD patients in the borough.

COPD, the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, is the fifth biggest killer in the UK and it costs the NHS more than £1 billion annually. In 2018-2019 there were approx. 6,000 registered patients with COPD in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale.

MyCOPD educates and empowers patients to take more control of their own care, helping to bring improvements in inhaler use and compliance with other treatments.

It also makes it easier for COPD care to be delivered by health professionals and accessed by patients with a link to a clinician-facing dashboard to allow remote monitoring and management of patients at individual and population level.

Dr Steve Doyle HMR’s Respiratory clinical Lead is a local GP in the borough, he said;

“These apps are an innovative way for patients and clinicians to manage a chronic disease in partnership. The app allows the patient to formulate and follow a self-management plan and update an inhaler diary. It will offer advice on appropriate exercise programmes, and include online education tutorials such as inhaler videos, weather and pollution forecasts, and symptom reporting. We are delighted that we are able to participate in this exciting Greater Manchester programme for the benefit of patients here in Rochdale.”

Health Innovation Manchester, the organisation responsible for accelerating proven innovation into Greater Manchester’s health and social care services at pace, has secured over 6,000 app licences which are being deployed across localities and offered to patients as part of their COPD care.

The roll-out of myCOPD is part of Health Innovation Manchester’s wider COPD programme which sees the organisation working with health and industry partners to improve the care and treatment of people with COPD through the most innovative and effective healthcare approaches.

Dr Binita Kane, Consultant Chest Physician at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and the clinical lead for the Health Innovation Manchester COPD programme, said: “Living with COPD can be difficult and so it is vital that patients are provided with the right support, guidance and education. It is fantastic news that patients in Greater Manchester will be able to access the myCOPD app.

“The early evidence regarding this innovative technology suggests that patients using myCOPD become more confident in managing their own condition, improve their ability to take inhalers and successfully undertake pulmonary rehabilitation in their own homes.

“We want to empower patients to understand and self-manage their disease and this app will hopefully support many people to do that in Greater Manchester.”

MyCOPD is one of several innovations selected for rapid spread across the NHS to improve patients’ lives, including previously being selected as part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator. As an Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), Health Innovation Manchester is working alongside the AHSN Network to spread the innovation across England so more patients can benefit from the support available.

The digital app, created by my mhealth, a company developing digital solutions for the management of long term conditions, has been built by COPD experts and externally peer reviewed by leading NHS COPD consultants and teams.

Dr Simon Bourne, my mhealth CEO and respiratory consultant, said: “We are really excited to be working alongside Health Innovation Manchester in delivering a unique way of enabling patient self-care. As respiratory clinicians, it is important we are able to offer patients the education, training and resources for self-management.

“With myCOPD, clinicians in Greater Manchester will be able to increase the reach of care to more patients than ever before whilst simultaneously have a real-time overview of how the COPD patient population is feeling.”

People in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale with a diagnosis of COPD who would like to register their interest in using the myCOPD app can do so by calling 0161 212 6270 or emailing patientservices.gmcsu@nhs.net.