As a part of the UNIK project, we investigated how technology can assist in helping and empowering COPD patient in their daily lives.
One of the concepts that evolved was the Pacer, which monitors the patients’ activity during the day, helps them train at the right intensity, and at the end of the day displays the level and intensity of the activity.
The Pacer was developed with both physiotherapists and patients in mind. While at a clinic, COPD patients would walk with the physiotherapists at a certain pace, however upon arriving home, the patients might be too worried to walk at the same pace by themselves, for fear of losing their breath, or might not remember the exact pace to walk at.
The Pacer emits a small beeping noise for each step the patients should take so they are exercising at an ideal pace. The goal was to make a simple, easy to use device which would work without any technical training and would be discreet enough to wear on everyday clothing.
Additionally, a blood oxygen sensor was developed which patients could wear as a glove, indicating to them if their blood oxygen level was in a safe range. This reassured patients that they could continue walking at the prescribed pace. The glove was also collecting data which could be transferred to a phone, computer or tablet so the physiotherapist could see the results of the patient’s exercise. Further development with inhalers was done in connection with this project.
Read more about the project:
UNIK, COPD: http://www.partnerskabetunik.dk/kol.aspx
Description of the prototypes: http://www.partnerskabetunik.dk/media/27445/prototypebeskrivelser.pdf
Article in the magazine “Helse” about the pacer: http://issuu.com/mediegruppen/docs/helse20120503/32