COPD/Longhand Data
Rasha Okasheh undertook her PhD in CLAHRC SY, working with 'Breathing Space' in Rotherham and the 'Breath Easy' patient group in Sheffield to explore the needs of people with COPD, and to develop a clinically meaningful and patient-centred measurement tool.

Based on the identified needs, Dr Okasheh developed and tested a series of TELER outcome indicators using a mathematical model, the intellectual property rights to which are now owned by a SME called Longhand Data. The method of measurement was initially paperbased but Longhand Data have now integrated the tool into a digital pen and paper such that scores can be transmitted wirelessly to a central database on a secure server.

A future Breathing Space project planned for 2013 is being developed with Longhand Data. For this project the TELER indicators developed by Rasha will be applied to the recording of COPD patients' functional outcomes during the rehabilitation period and after discharge home so that data collection continues uninterrupted. Breathing Space clinicians will be able to observe and react to patient recorded outcomes.

This project hopes to reduce readmission rates by identifying patients who are deteriorating and instigating rehabilitations in order to improve the patient's health. It is known that changes in functional status occur before changes in physiological status, however this knowledge has never been tested in a formal way. This study will utilise new digital technologies together with a method of measurement that allows the patient themselves to score clinically meaningful changes in the functional status, and TELER will ensure that the results are consistent and clinically valid.

The information will be saved within the digital pen and the patient, having reviewed their own scores, will upload the data to a central database on a secure server. Initially the data will be accessed by a physiotherapy researcher who will refer the patient to the clinical team. However in a normal care pathway this data could be reviewed by the physiotherapist, occupational therapist, nurse, physician or GP from any location remotely.

We want to establish whether patients feel more in control of their treatment because they can monitor their own functional scores and easily see their progress, whether they can use the technology and whether this remote self-monitoring can be integrated into the current care pathway.

Longhand Data are working with CLAHRC SY as a research and development initiative providing hardware, digital form design, training and access to the TELER database. This project clearly reflects one of the ways in which CLAHRC SY is working with an industrial partner to research and implement a novel technology that has the potential to improve the quality of life of people with chronic disease. It may also prevent readmission of such people thereby reducing the cost of care to the NHS.

For further information please contact:
Professor Sue Mawson

For more information please see Longhand Data's website:
www.longhanddata.com