Liverpool’s pulmonary rehab patients can breathe easier with digital access to instant physio advice

Patients attending Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital’s Breathe, its pulmonary rehabilitation programme, can now access instant advice about how to manage flare-ups using their mobile devices.

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Melissa Craig explains to a pulmonary rehabilitation patient how advice on managing breathlessness can be accessed within the Breathe rehabilitation brochure

The resource was developed in a move to embrace digital technology and make the programme’s advice and support services more accessible.

It uses augmented-reality videos of physios demonstrating breathing control and chest clearance techniques, along with interactive 3D images, which are available on smartphones and tablets.

Anthony Burns, senior Breathe team member, CSP steward and associate member, said: ‘The aim was to have a card that could be kept in a wallet and, once the programme is downloaded, the videos could be activated with the card to give patients practical tips for when their breathing worsens.’

The idea for the card came out of team discussions on how they could do more with digital technology and a digital company was employed to develop it.

In addition, a website for the Breathe programme was launched in April to support patients during and after rehab. ‘It’s an additional support to the Breathe programme,’ said Mr Burns.

‘It means patients and their families can find out more before they attend and if they are not up to the programme they can still access support and advice.’

Along with the website there is a Breathe brochure which offers a wider range of advice and support, including specific advice, for example for exercise and relaxation. Photographs within the brochure can be scanned by mobile phones and tablets to display interactive video guidance provided by the physiotherapy team.

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by Louise Hunt

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