The Age Of Smartphone Medical Devices Is Upon Us
With technology becoming such a large part of our everyday lives, it's hard to keep up with the next big thing.
But one thing’s for sure: the age of smartphone medical devices is upon us, and this has seen an expanding range of smart phone apps for people with COPD and other lung conditions.
What Can Apps Do?
Future smartphones will not only be devices to monitor your health and fitness, they will also be medical devices that record your vital statistics continuously.
Why? With health systems in many countries unable to cope with a growing population and new health challenges, we are now seeing the emergence of monitoring systems to help patients and their carers better manage their disease and doctors to be able to monitor patients from anywhere.
Many companies are now in a race to develop apps that will change the landscape of doctor patient relationships and the way they communicate.
It’s also looking like theses apps are going to have a big impact on medical research, with apps like Apple’s Health Kit and Research Kit getting a lot of attention in 2015. This means your health stats could help improve treatment for people in the future.
This is all great news, but how is going to impact you?
What About Apps for COPD?
Depending on the app, there are a number of great uses. The COPD Foundation's app has a clever quiz that asks you questions about your disease and then gives you treatment options depending on what information you’ve entered. You'll also find information about many different medications, recommended dosages, links, statics on smoking as well as some general information.
Doctot has similar features to the COPD Foundations app, but it's a little more user friendly and is a partnership with GOLD - Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases. The Doctot app isn't free which maybe a deterrent for some people as other apps are free.
Not all apps for COPD are focused purely on physical health and fitness, with My COPD Team a mobile social support network for COPD patients. You can share your experiences and ask advice from other patients on how they deal with certain aspects of COPD.
Testing Air Quality
Having the ability to test for exposure risk and air pollutants, such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides, can be invaluable. While the technology to test for such things may at first seem overly complicated, the truth is that smartphone apps and sensors are easy to install and create a better quality of life for COPD patients.
With the nearly instant availability of app software for smartphones, and quick-purchase ordering for add-on sensors, the technology could literally be at the patient’s fingertips whenever they have cause for alarm. The ability to perform monitoring from a smartphone device could assist COPD patients with gauging the safety of a new environment and informing them of pollutants when they enter a restaurant, apartment, a friend’s house, or even an outdoor venue.
Studies propose that apps could help people with COPD avoid hazardous environments altogether by pulling data from a multitude of sources using sensors. The sensors gather data from several points, compile the information, and then relay that information to the user/patient with COPD.