Mobile devices, coupled with wearable or environmental sensors, may provide chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with the timely and valuable information they need to avoid high-pollution environments. That is according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies, “Identifying risky environments for COPD patients using smartphones and internet of things objects.”
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the National Technical University of Athens, tested a system architecture that pulled together data from sensors linked to wireless networks, weather forecasts and the smart phone itself. The data collected was then incorporated in a framework that evaluates and alerts the COPD patient for potentially risky environmental conditions in the area.
While this system has not been developed for widespread use, systems like the one tested may help to limit exposure to air pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides, which can lead to exacerbations and worsening of the chronic lung conditions. Researchers note that once developed this type of mobile application could be effective for both COPD and emphysema patients, as well as those who suffer from asthma.
Armed with the results of the study, researchers are now in the process of creating software that could allow users to collect data from specific sensors that are relevant to them and their current disease state. In addition, they are exploring the possibility of a system that collects data from other users and pushes information to others when they enter a high-risk environment.