COPD patient throughout the Netherlands use the paper longaanvalactieplan (exacerbation plan of action) in order to recognise their exacerbation sooner and act upon them. Het company Medicine Men now developed an app in which patient always carry the plan with them and can directly signal for help.
After a testing period of a year the company Medicine Men launches the DigiLAP, a digital version of the exacerbation plan of action for COPD patients. This group, that has a lot of trouble with exacerbations, often ends up in the hospital when symptoms are recognised too late. DigiLAP advises the patient to take action more quickly and to call, for example, the pulmonary nurse practitioner.
The original exacerbation plan of actoin was developed by Dr. Jaap Trappenburg of the UMC Utrecht in 2011 based on his promotion research to the symptoms of upcoming COPD exacerbations. Although the exacerbation plan of action has a paper base, in that time there were already hints that a form of telemonitoring would be even more efficient.
The DigiLAP of Medicine Men keeps all the good elements of the paper exacerbation plan of action, but adds what is known as a workflow component. Answers of patients are registered and a triage questionnaire filled in by the patient helps the health professional to come to a diagnosis faster and to see trends in the data. The caretaker is also automatically informed if the symptoms of the patient are severe.
The DigiLAP is now being used in the region West Brabant and the Bravis hospital. The LUMC is also researching DigiLAP as part of the CE certified EmmaCOPD intervention Medicine Men. The solution is already available and easy to implement in a hospital region, among other things because the patient brings his/her own Android phone or iPhone.
About the exacerbation plan of action
The exacerbation plan of action is the most used home instrument for COPD pulmonary patients in the Netherlands. The paper version is free to order at the longfonds. The Longalliantie Nederland has decided to prioritize the instrument in the healthcare path COPD in januari 2018: “That’s why in version 2.0 it was decided to fill in the exacerbation plan of action during hospitalization. Postponing the use of the exacerbation plan of action is ill-advised because of the chance at a relapse”.
The plan is always available
Oscar van Dijk, CEO of Medicine Men, the developer of the DigiLAP: “During patient interviews we realized that the paper exacerbation plan of action works well, but that people forget to use it over time. The DigiLAP helps remind you and keeps your family informed about your health. That extra support could make the difference.”