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Fewer exacerbations

EmmaCOPD for COPD patients

EmmaCOPD is a CE Medical Device certified self-management platform that connects you to all people who can support you in managing your illness. You will receive a smartwatch with which you will have insight into your activity data and your sleeping patterns. An important part of EmmaCOPD is the digital longaanval actieplan (DigiLAP or digital exacerbation plan of action). This way you will have more insight into the course of symptoms and this way future exacerbations can be predicted and prevented.

What is copd?

COPD is a pulmonary illness where your lungs are damaged. Breathing is harder and you have less energy. The abbreviation COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. When you have COPD you breathe less easily because your lungs are damaged. You have less oxygen. This could make doing normal things harder, like walking up and down the stairs, doing groceries or getting dressed. Your lungs cannot ensure that you can breathe properly.  Compare it to a tankvehicle that can hold approximately ten thousand liters of oxygen. A healthy adult needs about that amount of oxygen a day. A COPD patient is sometimes able to breathe in and out only half of that amount.

COPD is a collective name for:

  1. Chronic bronchitis

With chronic bronchitis the breathing tubes (bronchial airways) inside your lungs are inflamed. This makes it harder for your body to produce slime and makes it harder to breathe.

  1. Emphysema

With emphysema the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs are damaged. Air sacs ensure that after breathing in the air goes into your blood. Old air gets trapped inside the air sacs so there is little or no room for new air to go. If there are fewer available air sacs, it will get harder to breathe.

What is an exacerbation?

An exacerbation is a severe and often unpleasant experience that most people with COPD are familiar with. During an exacerbation your symptoms will suddenly become much more severe. It is important that you recognise these signals and that you act upon them. Quickly take action when you are experiencing an attack.

Your symptoms will suddenly become more severe. These symptoms are different for everyone.

You can often recognise an exacerbation by:

  • Very apparant more coughing than usual
  • Very apparent more and tougher slime than usual
  • Very apparent more breathing problems than usual

What can you do during an exacerbation?

  • Try to stay calm and do not panic.
  • Do not be afraid to call your doctor. You are not on your own.
  • Use your exacerbation plan of action and see what you have agreed upon with your doctor. For more information about the exacerbation plan of action, please contact us at info@medicinemen.eu.

Is your COPD severe? Then you most likely suffer from exacerbations often. An exacerbation may cause irreparable damage to your lungs. By taking action on time, you can ensure that an exacerbation is less severe. This way you can avoid hospitalization.

Your symptoms are not always the same. There are period that you feel good and periods that you have more issues with your health. In a lesser period it is important that you know what you can do yourself. For example: take extra medication or contacting your pulmonary nurse practitioner or your doctor. With the exacerbation plan of action you can recognise changes in symptoms earlier. You can decrease the chance of hospitalization. Check often with your doctor or pulmonary nurse practitioner whether or not your plan of action is still accurate.

Dutch source: https://www.longfonds.nl/copd

What can I do to decrease the chance of an exacerbation?


The exacerbation plan of action is developed by the UMC Utrecht and is meant to help recognise a beginning exacerbation and to take the right action on time, to ensure you do not have to be hospitalized.

The exacerbation plan of action goes from green to yellow and orange to red. The colors represent how you are feeling. The green zone describes the stable situation that is 'normal' for you. The yellow zone describes the situation where symptoms are getting worse. For example, you have to cough more or you feel more out of breathe than normally. This is the moment to take action. You have filled in what to do in the exacerbation plan of action together with your pulmonary doctor or pulmonary nurse assistent. This can be taking extra medication (puffs) or using breathing techniques to counteract the breathing problems. In the orange zone, the worsened symtoms of the yellow zone last for more than two days. Direct contact with your health professional is important here. The red zone describes the situation when it has become threatening. The plan of action will strongly advise you to contact the emergency line or to call 112.

The DigiLAP ensures that you always have your exacerbation plan of action ready on your smartphone and it keeps track in which zone of the action plan you currently are. When you so choose, you can also share your information with community members, so that family members and or health professionals are up to date and can receive warnings when things are not going as well as before.

The answers you give on the questions of the exacerbation plan of action are also being logged online, which allows you and your health professionals to be able to see how things were going with you before, during and after an exacerbation. This will help you to gain a better insight into the cause and start of exacerbations.


How can I use DigiLAP?

  • DigiLAP is currently only available in Dutch. Interested? Please contact us at info@medicinemen.eu.

Help with therapy adherence

Sadly there are no medicines that can cure COPD. There is medication that allows you to feel less short of breathe and that allows you to cough less. Medicines ensure that your lung capacity improves. They decrease the chance that your symptoms will suddenly get worse. That is why it is important to take your medication regularly and in the correct way.


The Emma Medication app supports medication users in taking their medication on time. The user is warned through a smartwatch or smartphone that it is time for their medication intake or injection. Not taking medication timely and regularly results in a higher sensitivity of pulmonary attacks. In this case the buddy/caretaker and in at a later stage the health professional is warned. The Emma-concept has won the Dutch Vodafone Mobiles for Good award in a field of over 200 participants. Emma reached third place in the European Vodafone Mobiles for Good Challenge.

First and foremost Emma is for people who need extra support and monitoring with their therapy adherence. Secondly, Emma is useful for all people who are involved with this extra support. This includes for example caretakers and health professionals. Emma is capable of giving information to caretakers in good time and helps them to better support those around them. Furthermore, Emma provides health professionals with the opportunity to gain an insight into the therapy adherence and measurements of their patients through their own web-dashboard at any moment. For this group it has also been made possible to receive warning signals about previously determined events or series of events.

Inhalation instructions though video calling




Emma Activity coach

Physical activity with COPD? Maybe you do not even want to think about it. When you start moving you are even more out of breathe in the beginning. That is why exercising does not feel natural for you. Exercising is very beneficial for you in the long term. You get a better physique and you are less vulnerable for exacerbations. It is not easy, but it is rewarding.

COPD makes breathing harder for you. That is often very frustrating. Moving is a big challenge for you. It costs you more effort than to someone without pulmonary problems. Even so, it is very important that you move sufficiently with COPD. You train your muscles. Your condition improves. You are not as easily tired and you recover faster from illnesses, for example, the flu.


Moving sufficiently offers you many advantages:

  • Your symptoms may decrease over time
  • Your physical condition improves.
  • You will be less out of breath.
  • Your daily activities will be easier.
  • You will have more energy.
  • Your bones will become stronger.
  • You will sleep better.
  • You will feel more relaxed.
  • Your muscles will become stronger.
  • You recover faster from the flu or from a fever.
  • There's a smaller chance at an exacerbation of hospitalization.
  • You have a bigger chance to keep working.

All form of movements are good. You do not have to walk on a treadmill in the gym if you do not want to. By walking to the supermarket you have already taken a big step. Alternate between different forms of exercice. A lot of people with COPD go on walks, garden, bike, play golf or do yoga. You know yourself the best and know what you can and cannot do. Choose a form of physical activity that makes you feel comfortable, that way you have the biggest chance to keeping it up.

The EmmaCOPD Activity coach gives you more insight in how much you move by registering your physicial activity through a smartwatch and sending the data to the cloud in realtime. Next you can look at your data together with your physiotherapist to see if you have moved enough or to see how you can take small steps to move more in order to improve your physical condition. You will set personal activity/step goals and you can see on your smartwatch whether or not you are reaching those goals at any time. If you so choose, you can share your data with your personal community, so that a buddy/caretaker (for example, a family member) and your health professionals can watch along to see how you are doing and support you in reaching your goals.

quit smoking

For more information and/or help to quit smoking, we would like to refer you to the following websites:


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