Improve the life of elderly with COPD

In order to improve the quality of life of elderly with COPD, I designed PredictPlan, a concept that enables Prediction on how a COPD patient will feel, to Plan the needed care accordingly.


When having COPD, life becomes much more difficult. Patients are coping with shortness of breath, limited energy levels and, eventually, the inability to breathe without technical equipment. Therefore, elderly patients with COPD often need help from their families and make use of home care.

During this project I researched how elderly with COPD are living to see how I could make their lives easier. By interviewing elderly, their family and COPD professionals, I found that an important part of the COPD disease is the clear distinction in the feeling of the patient per day. As a result, there are days on which elderly feel very bad and need a lot of help and other days on which they feel good and do not need help at all. Furthermore, I found that it is possible to define which factors have an influence on this. Such as the weather conditions and the amount of air pollution during that specific day or period.

As the home care and family caregivers were not responding to these daily changing health conditions, the elderly indicated that they felt very frustrated by the care they received.
In my opinion, this should and could be improved.

Examples of statistical data based on own research
COPD patients have clear bad and good days
Examples of app screens
Render of the two lamps

Therefore, I incorporated my findings on how to predict a good/bad day in an app. This app can be used by the home care and family members of the elderly with COPD. The app combines different (personal) factors that are likely to influence the health condition of the elderly in order to predict how he/she would feel during a specific period.

As the app is able to plan a few weeks ahead, it is possible that the home care schedules their visits more accurately to the needs of the patients. Moreover, by filling in the daily questionnaire elderly can indicate more easily how they feel that day. By using the app, home care and family members will see the current feeling of the elderly and can respond to this.

To increase the awareness of how the elderly is feeling, a small lamp for the family members is developed. This lamp communicates with the app and shows the feeling of the patient through colour indication. This figures as a small reminder to go by when the elderly is not feeling well.

Lastly, a lamp is designed for elderly with COPD. Through the same colour indication this lamp creates awareness by the patient about his or her feeling. Moreover, it enables them to tell their family they are not feeling well.

For this project I made a working prototype of the patients’ lamp using 3D-printing and LED-lights with remote control. Moreover, I made a working prototype of the app using interactive tools.
I tested and evaluated both prototypes with elderly.


Bachelor final project (June 2015). Individual project for Philips