The aim of the project is to design, develop and demonstrate a prototype system that supports disease management of patients with COPD. The focus is on monitoring the disease status in the daily environment of the patient with adequate feedback and information sharing over the gathered data with the healthcare professionals involved. The most important results of this project will be a 'demonstrator' of the developed ICT supported care as well as the experience gained with it by using it in daily practice.

The 'demonstrator' integrates:

·Quantitative monitoring of daily activity using on body sensors with feedback to reach a more active lifestyle.

·A web based portal that creates the possibility to realize remotely supervised training and monitoring of disease status in the daily environment as well as to communicate and share this, and other relevant medical parameters, with other care professionals and the patient.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic, progressive lung disease. The prevalence and associated costs of COPD are projected to increase the upcoming decades. The treatment of COPD aims to reduce risk factors, prevent disease progression and manage exacerbations and a holistic approach is essential. However, current care is felt suboptimal. Two of the key problems are:

1)Lack of insight in the real daily activities of patients and by this lack of insight in the impact of physical training on disease status and condition. This is highly relevant as the key element in disease management is to teach the patient adequate coping strategies with respect to his disease status, condition and daily activity pattern. However, with our already overburdened system it is not realistic to expect that this feedback can be provided face to face in the near future.

2)In chronic care settings, as is in COPD, integration of services beyond organizational borders is essential. This requiring adequate cross-organizational communication among involved members. In the COPD patients experience lack of inter-professional communication, necessitating them to act as care coordinator/indirect messenger between professionals.

Based on their experience, partners in this project share the vision that care for the patients with COPD can be more efficient and effective when supporting this care by ICT. More specifically, it is expected that monitoring of the disease status at home with adequate communication and information sharing about the gathered data will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of care of patients with COPD.

The partners in the COPDdotCOM project are: Roessingh Research and Development, Medisch Spectrum Twente and University of Twente.


The demonstrator is designed following a user-centred design, involving the users in all stages of the design process: requirements to evaluation. Based on functional requirements, a first prototype of the disease management system is being developed consisting of

·Body Area Network for monitoring of and giving feedback on daily activity

·a communication infrastructure that enables data transport, data gathering, authentication and authorization

·a web portal for the patients enabling the patient to view his/her activity data and to report on complaints via an electronic diary as well as to receive advices concerning medication in case of changing symptoms

·a web portal for professionals to enable monitoring of the health status of the patients and by this give adequate support/coaching to the patient.

The demonstrator is investigated by a randomized controlled trial (Netherland Trial Register: NTR 2440) involving patients suffering from COPD.

Background publications from earlier projects:

H. J. Hermens and M. M. R. Vollenbroek-Hutten, “Towards remote monitoring and remotely supervised training.,” Journal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology, vol. 18, no. 6
pp. 908-19, Dec. 2008.

M. G. H. Van Weering, M. M. R. Vollenbroek-Hutten, T. M. Tönis, and H. J. Hermens, “Daily physical activities in chronic lower back pain patients assessed with accelerometry.,” European journal of pain London England, vol. 13,
o. 6, pp. 649-654, 2009.

Research themes

From Human Sensory-Motor Function to Patient-Practioner Interaction

Principal Investigator tracks

Hermie Hermens: Remote Monitoring and Treatment



People involved

Hermie Hermens

Miriam Vollenbroek

Monique Tabak




Tabak M, Vollenbroek-Hutten MMR, van der Valk PDLPM, van der Palen J, and Hermens HJ. Can we change the activity behaviour of patients with COPD using a telemedicine feedback intervention? European Respiratory Society congress (ERS), Amsterdam 2011, poster discussion

Tabak M, Vollenbroek-Hutten MMR, van der Valk PDLPM, van der Palen J, Tönis T, and Hermens HJ. How do COPD patients distribute their daily activities? 2nd International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physcal Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM), Glasgow 2011, oral presentation

Project website