Well… here we are, at the end of April. Over the course of this month, we’ve taken the My COPD Action Plan quiz, talked about triggers and early warning signs, and learned about next steps to be empowered to better manage your COPD at home.
Today let’s take a look at a tool that brings this all together – the COPD mobile app for patients and caregivers for use on your smart phone or tablet. Some of you may already be using the app, but for those of you who haven’t, it includes:
- My COPD Action Plan: This canhelp you manage your COPD day-to-day. Just like we talked about with the paper version, you can go over the action plan on the app with your health care provider so you understand what actions to take – if any – on a green, yellow, or red day. Just click on the symptoms you’re having, and the app will walk you through the steps. The "Take Action" portion of the My COPD Action Plan is printable.
- Inhaler Videos: There are a lot of different inhaler devices and each one works differently from the others. If you click on the inhaler you use, you will see a video with a step-by-step demonstration on how to get the medication out of the device and into your lungs. (If you’re not sure which device you use, look for the name of your medication below the image of the video.) You can pause these videos, restart them, or watch them as many times as you want.
- Exercise Videos: No skimpy leotards and boot camp moves here! These exercise videos show low-impact movement and exercise – some are demonstrated by people with COPD. You can pause these videos, restart them, and watch them as many times as you want. Check with your doctor first to make sure these exercise videos are right for you.
- Activity Tracking: In this section you can track daily routine activities and how easy or hard it is for you to do them. The empty box at the end of this list is there for you to add a goal that is important and meaningful to you. Talk about this with your health care team, and what you can do to reach to your goal. The activity tracking section is printable.
- COPD Wallet Card: If you are new to the app, it's best to complete the wallet card first. This will track your important contact and health information including medications and vaccines. Just enter the information as it is available to you. You can then print the wallet card or bring this information up easily onto your screen when you need it – at your next health care visit or when discussing appointments, test results, or next steps over the phone. The wallet card is printable.
- Calendar: Activity Tracking, My COPD Action Plans, and For Your Next Visit entries are stored in your calendar. You can click on a given day to see the My COPD Action Plan outcome (green, yellow or red day) and other app entries completed on that date. The calendar is printable.
- For My Next Visit: This section includes 1) questions to ask your health care team and 2) symptoms that have changed since your last visit. Complete this section, print it out, and bring it with you to visits with your primary care provider and pulmonologist. Having this handy will help remind you to talk about these questions and symptoms that are important to you. This section is printable.
I know… this is a lot of technology… and a lot to take in! Here’s some help if you need it:
Do you use the COPD Foundation’s mobile app? If so, what are your favorite features? What are those you find most helpful?
Let’s talk. I look forward to hearing from you!