Advancing COPD Research: Harnessing Wearable Sensors and Remote Monitoring for Improved Insights

October 24, 2023

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death1 worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. In the past, a viable research study would have required participants to complete an in-hospital COPD assessment and return for routine on-site vitals checks. Plus, participants had to keep a written journal of their daily activities. It was a hassle for all involved—especially the patients.Now, similar research is possible at home. Healthcare providers can monitor and manage COPD more effectively and aim to prevent further progression using wearable sensors and remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology.

In clinical research, multi-center observational exploratory studies can correlate wearable sensor data with clinical parameters in monitoring COPD. Exploring the data derived from continuous multi-vital monitoring using a wearable sensor can help identify potential digital biomarkers. A Bluetooth-enabled sensor can monitor an ECG signal to derive heart rate and heart rate variability. The sensor can also provide respiratory rate, activity measures, and skin temperature data. The three-axis accelerometer can provide data on respiratory function, breathing patterns, exacerbations, and cough detection. This helps to monitor stages and signs that the study participant’s status is worsening or improving remotely, and in real-time.

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