CityVerve COPD Use Case is Making Strides


Jean Hennings

My career started at Manchester Royal Infirmary, working as a nurse and later as a midwife. When the option to do a Masters degree in Health Promotion came up, I jumped at the chance for a new challenge and opportunity to learn more.

I held a number of research assistant roles at the University of Manchester, including work on asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) projects with Professor Ann-Louise Caress, before studying for my PhD.

In my current role as a research associate on the COPD use case, I get to work with Ann again (she is the principal investigator on the project) and the insights I gained previously are already proving invaluable.

A smarter approach

We’re looking at how we can use a smartphone app and smart inhaler in combination with sensors positioned within the participants’ homes that monitor humidity, temperature and movement.

We know that very cold, hot, or dry air can trigger a COPD flare-up, and that exercise can have a positive effect on symptoms, so the information from sensors located in the home will be useful in tracking these data points.

Inhaler technique can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the medication. The smart inhaler will indicate with a green light when it has been shaken enough.

Similarly, it’s difficult to know when a standard inhaler is running on empty. The smart inhaler will alert the user when the active ingredient is running low and it’s time to order a new prescription.

The information won’t be monitored continually by clinical staff, but will be given to participants to share with their clinicians and help them self-manage their condition. Those looking for moral support will also have the option to send automatic alerts to family and friends.

Read more about the COPD use case and other CityVerve use cases by following the link.