Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) presents a significant and increasing burden on our health services. The World Health Organisation estimated that by 2030 COPD will be the 4th largest cause of global mortality.
Many COPD patients also suffer from closely-related diseases such as heart failure, diabetes and depression. They therefore have complex ongoing medical care needs, often involving multiple therapies as well as self-management responsibilities.
This is where the WELCOME project comes in: It wants to develop an integrated management tool for COPD patients with comorbidities. The tool is to prevent condition exacerbation, enable patient self-management and identify acute implications early.
So a win-win situation for patients, health professionals and the healthcare system. "The project goals are driven by equal concern for COPD patients and the healthcare system that supports them", says project coordinator Andreas Raptopoulos.
"Patients can be better supported by prompts, reassurance and guidance to help them manage their condition, whilst health professionals can be supported to better manage the timeliness and relevance of specific interventions for each patient."
"Clinical evidence already suggests that the introduction of integrated approaches to disease management, and its coupling to communications technology, can improve patient quality of life and reduce acute hospitalisations and re-admissions", Raptopoulos explains.
The consortium will develop, test, validate and commercialise a fully integrated proactive and personalised technology solution, providing 360° data from clinicians, patients and external inputs.
This technology solution combines a vest made of smart garments and sensors which measure and monitor specific COPD indicators presented by a patient. Patient data is then securely stored in cloud-based electronic health records, and intelligent algorithms will provide further processing & analytics.
From this hub, patients, clinicians and community health professionals can better monitor and manage integrated personalised care plans.
The innovation impact sought by the WELCOME experts is driven by two challenges facing European public health services: How to maintain and improve the quality of care, whilst simultaneously identifying efficiencies in treatments and interventions.
Additionally WELCOME, by taking advantage of latest technologies, provides a shift from 'reactive' to 'predictive, preventive, personalised, and participatory' (P4) medicine.
Andreas Raptopoulos, Research Consultant, 73-75 Mesogeion Av & Estias Str 1, 115 26, Athens, Greece, Tel: +30 210 7450300 | Direct: +30 210 7450325, Fax: +30 210 7450399 | Mobile: +30 694 7261477