Innovation is at the heart of COPD treatment

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects approximately 120,000 in Scotland and is the second most common reason for emergency hospital admissions.

To mark World COPD Day, we are looking at how innovation is helping patients across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde manage their symptoms and improve the treatment of COPD.

Since May 2020, NHS GGC patients with COPD have been given the opportunity to monitor their symptoms at home by registering to use the NHSGGC COPD Digital Service.  Using their smartphones or other devices, patients have direct access to a range of self-management tools, as well as notifications for daily patient reported outcomes, enabling the clinical team to proactively monitor patients remotely.    It also enables patients to message their clinician and community respiratory response team in real-time, improving efficiency of daily care, particularly during Covid-19.

The Dynamic Scot project is a collaboration between NHS GGC, the West of Scotland Innovation Hub, Digital Health & Care Institute, Scottish Government and National Services Scotland and has already seen success in NHS GGC, with over 550 patients regularly using the service and rollout planned for further boards. Results have shown a marked decrease in the number of hospital admissions and attendances, as well as improved efficiencies for the clinical service. 

In July of this year there was more welcome news for the project, after it was awarded the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award by the UK Government.  This aims to accelerate the testing, evaluation and increase the impact of AI-driven technologies to help solve clinical and operational challenges across the NHS and care settings, allowing innovation to remain at the heart of improving COPD treatment in Scotland.

Dr Chris Carlin, Consultant Respiratory Physician, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “At the moment, NHS management of COPD is reactive. We’re aiming to predict what will happen with this condition so we can be much more proactive, without having to bring patients up and down from hospital.

 “COPD is a global healthcare challenge and managing it has become even more challenging with the COVID-19 pandemic. The COPD digital service we’ve developed has helped reduce that pandemic impact, with a positive impact on patient care and outcomes. The Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award allows us to bring the exciting innovations – AI insights - that we’ve developed in the research environment through into clinical practice. The evaluations that this award will allow us to undertake will let us gather the evidence about how best to use these AI insights to support people with COPD and their clinical teams to co-manage their condition.”