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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P009794/1
Title: A Novel Wearable Technology for Early Detection of Exacerbations in COPD
Principal Investigator: Rodriguez, Dr E
Other Investigators:
Shah, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Biocompatibles Ltd
Department: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 30 September 2020 Value (£): 986,021
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Digital Signal Processing Human-Computer Interactions
Information & Knowledge Mgmt Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Sep 2016 Intelligent Technologies Prioritisation Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a respiratory disease which affects approximately 3 million people in the UK and 64 million in the world. This chronic condition affects mostly people over 45 and is characterised by a progressive decline of lung function. COPD is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the world, although the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts it will become the third by 2030. The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) estimates that the total direct cost of COPD to the NHS is over £800 million- out of which over £300 million correspond to hospitalisations. The Department of Health reports that, added to this, the cost associated to loss of productivity is in the order of £3.8 billion per year. Overall, the general worldwide consensus on COPD is that "it will become one of the major health challenges over the next few decades". Thus, it is widely acknowledged that anything that improves management and effectiveness of treatment will not just improve patients' quality of life, but also result on savings from: 1- Hospitalisations (average cost per admission estimated to be around £2,000 per patient, this being one of the most costly inpatient conditions in the NHS); 2- Potential visits to GPs; 3- Associated loss of productivity due to work absenteeism.

The main reason for hospitalisations associated with COPD are exacerbations. Severe COPD exacerbations cause one in eight of all emergency admissions in hospitals, this is the second largest cause of emergency admissions in the UK. Mild and moderate exacerbations can be managed outside the hospital but if they are not identified promptly they may progress to breathlessness and in some patients to respiratory failure. A significant proportion of these exacerbations will require in-patient treatment. A significant proportion of these exacerbations will require in-patient treatment. Added to the negative financial consequences of not managing exaceions properly, they reduce the quality of life and increase the risk of death- the more the worse the exacerbation progresses to be; and also increased exacerbations severity irreversibly speeds disease progression.

The purpose of this research project is to create a novel wearable wireless technology- compose of a sensing unit of approximately the size of a pound coin to be worn by the patient in the neck, and a mobile phone application- that will be able to monitor COPD patients continuously, and automatically provide early detection of potential exacerbations, in order to inform patients and/or their doctors, so that these can be treated promptly to minimise their likelihood of progression to higher levels of severity.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk