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Remote assessment of lung disease and impact on physical and mental health (ralpmh): Protocol for a prospective observational study

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Yatharth Ranjan, Malik Althobiani, Joseph Jacob, Michele Orini, Richard Dobson, Joanna Porter, John Hurst, Amos Folarin

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28873
JournalJMIR research protocols
Issue number10
Early online date11 Jun 2021
E-pub ahead of print11 Jun 2021
PublishedOct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, NIHR, or Department of Health and Social Care. Ethical approval has been obtained in London from the HRA and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) (REC reference: 21/WM/0087). This study was supported by (1) NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London, London, UK (NIHR Grant Number IS BRC-1215-20018); (2) Health Data Research UK, which is funded by the UK Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Department of Health and Social Care (England), Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Government), Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), British Heart Foundation and Wellcome Trust; (3) The BigData@Heart Consortium, funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative-2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No. 116074. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA; it is chaired by DE Grobbee and SD Anker, partnering with 20 academic and industry partners and ESC; (4) the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre; (5) the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London; (6) the UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging & Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare; (7) the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration South London (NIHR ARC South London) at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and (8) Institute of Health Informatics, University College London. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Fundacion Instituto de Historia Social. All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Background: Chronic lung disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are characterized by exacerbations. They are unpleasant for patients and sometimes severe enough to cause hospital admission and death. Moreover, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable populations with these disorders are at high risk, and their routine care cannot be done properly. Remote monitoring offers a low cost and safe solution for gaining visibility into the health of people in their daily lives, making it useful for vulnerable populations. Objective: The primary objective is to assess the feasibility and acceptability of remote monitoring using wearables and mobile phones in patients with pulmonary diseases. The secondary objective is to provide power calculations for future studies centered around understanding the number of exacerbations according to sample size and duration. Methods: Twenty participants will be recruited in each of three cohorts (COPD, IPF, and posthospitalization COVID). Data collection will be done remotely using the RADAR-Base (Remote Assessment of Disease And Relapse) mobile health (mHealth) platform for different devices, including Garmin wearable devices and smart spirometers, mobile app questionnaires, surveys, and finger pulse oximeters. Passive data include wearable-derived continuous heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiration rate, activity, and sleep. Active data include disease-specific patient-reported outcome measures, mental health questionnaires, and symptom tracking to track disease trajectory. Analyses will assess the feasibility of lung disorder remote monitoring (including data quality, data completeness, system usability, and system acceptability). We will attempt to explore disease trajectory, patient stratification, and identification of acute clinical events such as exacerbations. A key aspect is understanding the potential of real-time data collection. We will simulate an intervention to acquire responses at the time of the event to assess model performance for exacerbation identification. Results: The Remote Assessment of Lung Disease and Impact on Physical and Mental Health (RALPMH) study provides a unique opportunity to assess the use of remote monitoring in the evaluation of lung disorders. The study started in the middle of June 2021. The data collection apparatus, questionnaires, and wearable integrations were setup and tested by the clinical teams prior to the start of recruitment. While recruitment is ongoing, real-time exacerbation identification models are currently being constructed. The models will be pretrained daily on data of previous days, but the inference will be run in real time. Conclusions: The RALPMH study will provide a reference infrastructure for remote monitoring of lung diseases. It specifically involves information regarding the feasibility and acceptability of remote monitoring and the potential of real-time data collection and analysis in the context of chronic lung disorders. It will help plan and inform decisions in future studies in the area of respiratory health.

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