The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Enter 2014—the year of technological advancement and successfully building an iPhone that bends. In all seriousness, technology has reached a point that it seems you can do everything from your iPhone or Android. Need a mirror? Use a front-facing camera. Forgot to turn the lights off at home? There’s an app for that. In our virtual world, it is a wonder we are ever on the go. Everything is accessible from the palms of our hand and the pixels of our computer screens.
Reality check: Could these ever-powerful apps have a use in the medical field? Could these apps be the newest method of self-diagnosis and medical management? Perhaps. Has this tech takeover already started in the medical industry? Let’s find out.
Route: App Store for iPhone > Search for COPD > Results: 74.
Available iPhone Applications for Lung Disease
COPD Tracker From Everyday Health
A useful digital tool for individuals dealing with COPD that is free! If you or a loved one are ready to bring your COPD to the digital era, this tool opens the door to daily monitoring of your COPD symptoms. This includes shortness of breath, chest tightness, cough, phlegm and mucus build up, fatigue, and more. COPD Tracker also offers sections for recording the weather and other environmental triggers that could cause a COPD flare-up. Once you have recorded your daily information, you have the option to either save your data until your next physician’s visit or to email your doctor directly with your tracked results.
A recently introduced iPhone app provides a method of tracking your COPD on a daily basis in order to promote a better relationship and conversation between patient and doctor. A unique aspect of this application is the ability to record medication intake and whether you, as the patient, felt it was successful in curbing some breathing difficulty. As a free tool readily available, it is affordable for individuals on any budget.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
In a vastly different nature, this app offers a guide for individuals diagnosed with COPD. As a digitally based guidebook, the app is broken down into chapters to allow for easy reading and page bookmarking. It reminds patients that they are not alone, and it shares various methods of coping with a COPD diagnosis. More as a method of self-help, it could easily be used in conjunction with a COPD tracking tool, either digital or paper. Currently available for $0.99 in the App Store.
A brand new mobile app and Web page have been released in hopes of raising awareness about Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (a chronic lung disease). This disease typically results in a characteristic crackling sound in a patient. German biotechnologists have designed this application in the form of a game in which users will listen to various sounds to determine if it is associated with a given lung disease such as IPF. After listening to the recording, users answer a multiple choice question about the disease it is related to; at this point, users can move on to the next sound or repeat the same one. It is hoped that by actively listening to these recordings, individuals will be more aware of the sounds to listen for as early detection is essential to lung disease survival.
This app, clearly designed for physician use, was created in partnership with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases as a tool that incorporates the COPD Assessment Test and a medication scale. With a user-friendly approach, this digital tool may be a major step in the tech direction for a revolutionized medical world.
The COPD Pocket Consultant Guide
Another cleverly designed app for the education of healthcare professionals offers an interactive interface that allows symptoms to be uploaded and scored. Users can input spirometry information and exacerbation history, resulting in a tentative diagnosis and treatment options.
*Please note that these options are currently only available in English, but there are several other COPD tracking applications in other languages.
With evidence of technology moving into the medical industry, we can all rest assured that these apps will continue to improve and new applications will be developed. While these are certainly informative, app creators warn users that these are not to serve as a physician replacement. If you or a loved one is dealing with COPD or another lung disease, be sure to contact us or call us at(800) 729-3065.