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£1.5m project to trial technology for lung disease

This article is more than seven years old.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is helping to pilot an intelligent home-based system to help people monitor long-term conditions in their own homes.

The Automated Sensing and Predictive Inference for Respiratory Exacerbation (ASPIRE) programme, which aims to help patients monitor chronic pulmonary disorder (COPD), will receive a £1.5m grant from the government's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The ASPIRE programme aims to develop 'intelligent' systems for people to use in their own homes, by wearing lightweight healthcare sensors that can track vital signs and fuse the information with data from the patient's encounters with GPs and hospital care.

These systems can then monitor COPD signs and symptoms in their own homes, spotting when the condition is worsening early on: delays in spotting changes in long-term conditions like COPD are bad for patients, and increase the cost of their healthcare.

The programme is being piloted by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which provides health and social care across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset.

"Healthcare needs to change, such that these evolving needs of patients can be met in a sustainable manner, and technology has a key enabling role in delivering this change,2 said ASPIRE's programme lead Dr David Clifton.

"ASPIRE seeks to create an exemplar of an integrated healthcare-delivery system, in which care is provided for patients suffering from lung disease (COPD) in the home is provided in a 'smart', joined-up manner - which requires intelligent systems based on machine learning.

"It will be piloted in the NHS in Oxfordshire, with our NHS collaborators at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (which provides hospital care) and the Oxford Health NHS Trust (which provides other care)," he said.

The £1.5 million funding for the ASPIRE programme is part of a larger package of £10 million in funding for eight new intelligent healthcare technologies.

"Using these new technologies provides ways of gauging a patient's health in real-time and detecting any deterioration quickly," said Professor Philip Nelson, the EPSRC Chief Executive.

"This will help people remain in their homes for longer, avoid congestion and delay and mean treatment can be targeted quickly and when it can be most appropriate and effective."