Since Apple’s announcement of HealthKit and ResearchKit, developers and researchers have been busy trying to get a piece of this exploding market. Between fitness trackers and their own dedicated apps and the ever expanding pool of disease specific apps, patients have never before had so many ways to take charge of their health. Furthermore, many of these apps have the ability to send data to providers via popular EMR’s including Epic.

Here at iMedical apps we have discussed a number of the initial ResearchKit apps. One of the first and most popular ResearchKit apps came from LifeMap, a CA start-up. Their first ResearchKit app, Asthma Health was designed in collaboration with providers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. That ResearchKit app enrolled over 8,400 patients as of September 2015 and provided tight integration with the Apple HealthKit app and included EHR integration. In December 2015, they launched their latest patient health app called COPD Navigator.

COPD Navigator continues the collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine and permits COPD patients to view air quality, track their steps, heart rate, pulse ox, peak flow, medications, exacerbations and their daily symptoms. The more they participate with the medical app, the more “Health Points” they earn — adding some gamification of medical apps to the mix. The app also contains a detailed patient education section that is surprisingly free of Big Pharma bias. This version does not tie in with EMR’s but a sister version, iBreath, will send data to Epic and other EMRs. Plans reportedly include integration with smart inhalers for better medication tracking.

Video Review

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Evidence based medicine

The COPD Navigator medical app includes numerous educational resources developed by providers at the Pulmonary Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mt Sinai, New York City. App also uses “proven” methods for patient engagement via health points for completing surveys, data tracking, graphing, etc. Uncertain benefit/evidence for COPD patients tracking data such as peak flows and daily symptom scores. Developers plan additional research around data collected from similar app so time will tell.

Who would benefit from this Health App?

Patients with COPD and the healthcare team of providers who takes care of them.

copd navigator app

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

  • Price
    • Free
    • Utilizes Apple HealthKit app for data tracking.
    • Shows weather/air quality data.
    • Notifications for medication reminders.
    • Tracks patient symptoms, exacerbations and medication use.
  • Dislikes
    • Occasionally takes multiple taps to enter data.
    • Some sections not as intuitive as they should be.
    • This version of app does not offer EHR integration.
    • Not available for Android at this time.
  • Overall

    COPD Navigator is a great free addition to the growing number of patient health/disease oriented apps. With its integration with the Apple HealthKit app, weather, notifications and free educational resources, COPD Navigator is an excellent one stop shop for COPD patients.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Relatively easy to use interface, but some sections such as medication entry could work more reliably.

  • Multimedia Usage

    Tight integration with Apple HealthKit app for pertinent health data as well as weather, medication notifications and patient symptoms. ResearchKit version permits integration with EMR’s.

  • Price

    App is free.

  • Real World Applicability

    A great app for COPD patients to use for tracking their symptoms, getting better education about their disease and sharing data with their providers.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 6S running iOS 9.2

  • Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad