Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) includes lung conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Historically the west of Scotland has had a higher rate of COPD than elsewhere in the UK.

Researchers at the UWS Institute for Biomedical and Environmental Health Research are collaborating with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh and Cirrus Logica to develop a range of healthcare applications to tackle COPD. The project, known as BREATH, has brought together clinicians, software developers and specialists in signal processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

One of the first outputs was Smart Cough ─ an app to enable unobtrusive and continual monitoring of patients’ symptoms. It recognises and counts coughs via patients’ own smartphones, dispensing with the need for specialist clinical equipment and allowing patients to get on with their daily lives.

The project, which received funding from DHI Scotland, was awarded the Jack Perkins Prize in 2015 by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

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