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

  • myCOPD is a web-based app which patients can access 24/7 on their smartphones or computer to manage their health online
  • Patients with COPD will be able to access online self-management plans, exercise programmes and education tools
  • Health Innovation Manchester has secured more than 6,000 licences for the app for people with COPD in Greater Manchester

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Greater Manchester are now able to access a new app 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.

Patients with COPD can use their smartphone, tablet or computer 24/7 to manage their health online, with the app providing a self-management plan and inhaler diary, an exercise programme, online education tutorials such as inhaler videos, weather and pollution forecasts, and symptom reporting.

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.

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. There are around 67,000 patients diagnosed with COPD living in Greater Manchester and the cost of managing associated hospital admissions and medications is around £73 million each year.

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.”