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Innovative health care students develop new app to help ease breathing problems


Wrexham students have developed a new mobile app to help people with breathing problems.

Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Occupational Therapy students teamed up and created the online app for those who suffer with respiratory conditions, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.

The app, Save A Breath, developed by Samantha Evans, Paul Kitto, Andrea Wells, Linda Bryan and Catherine Barnet, was part of an assignment in which the team had to create  a resource that educates and helps people manage their condition.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 64 million people have COPD in the world and WHO predicts it will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.

Team member Paul said: “The app offers a range of tips on how to cope with and manage breathing conditions so people can still engage in occupations and activities they enjoy activities, such as how to prevent breathlessness whilst gardening.

“Overall the app aims to provide information and education on the condition.”

Save a Breath offers advice on how to manage breathlessness and decrease the chances of it occurring whilst maintaining their normal lifestyle.

Samantha said: “For me I wanted the team to approach the subject of respiratory conditions because I had worked in pulmonary rehab and with people who have COPD.

“No one had done a mobile app before that we knew of, especially for breathlessness, so it was something we wanted to pursue and we will continue to develop the app outside of our assignment.”

Save a Breath was presented to district nurses at the university and was given a seal of approval for providing information to sufferers of breathlessness.

Helen Carey, lead lecturer in Occupational Therapy, said: “The assignment is part of our Creative Education Resource where students must plan, create and develop something that can be used as part of Occupational Therapy treatment.

“This is the first year we’ve had our students develop an app and they have done very well indeed and they worked great as a team.

“We encourage our students on the course to think of something they can take forward and use it as a business opportunity.

“It’s also good for Occupational Therapists to think in an entrepreneurial way. It is hard to spend as much time with patients as you’d wish so it’s great to think how technology can help our patients.”

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