Self-Management supported by Assistive, Rehabilitation and Telehealth Technologies

(SMART) for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

University of Sheffield Team

Professor Mark Hawley (Project Lead)

Professor Gail Mountain (Project Lead)

Claire Bentley (Research Associate)

Lauren Powell (Research Associate and SMART COPD Project Manager)

Dr Stephen Potter (Translational Research Associate, CATCH)

Cath O'Connor (Research Assistant)

Rachel Cresswell (Research Assistant)

Kiera Bartlett (adviser)

Update (Aug 2016): We are carrying out a feasibility study with Pulmonary Rehabilitation teams across South Yorkshire to find out whether the app is acceptable to patients and staff, and whether it would be feasible to use the app in this setting to help people with COPD increase their physical activity. Recruitment will begin Sept 2016.

Update (Nov 2015): Phases Two and Three are now complete. We have produced an app which works together with an activity monitor to encourage physical activity in COPD. We are going through approvals for a feasibility study to try out using the app with respiratory services across South Yorkshire.

Update (Feb 2015):  Phase One results summary here. Phases Two and Three (software development and usability testing) are ongoing.

Update (Dec 2017): 22/30 patients recruited from Doncaster and Rotherham. Cath O'Connor and Rachel Cresswell have joined the team to complete recruitment.


The work follows on from the achievements of the SMART Consortium ( in investigating the use of technology to help people with long term conditions to self-manage. The lessons learned from earlier projects will be extended to develop a new self-management program for COPD, a respiratory condition characterised by progressive decline in lung function. People with COPD may become housebound, socially isolated, depressed and may be admitted to hospital more frequently. These negative consequences of the condition can be reduced through effective self-management, for example by increasing physical activity and keeping an eye on symptoms.


The aim of the project is to produce and evaluate a piece of software which helps people with COPD to self-manage their condition.

Project Summary

In general the project consists of three streams of work.  In Phase One ideas for a COPD self-management system (based on literature and earlier SMART work) have been discussed in interviews with COPD patients, their family members and relevant healthcare professionals to determine which features might be useful to include in the system.  Phase Two will involve the development of an early version of the COPD self-management system. During Phase Three this early version, or prototype, will be assessed on its usability and acceptability to people with COPD as a self-management tool.

Update (October, 2017): We are now testing our research methods to see if they are feasible for a larger future study and also the acceptability of the app. We have recruited 22 people so far and are looking to continue recruitment.  


Phase One results are now available! We interviewed 15 people with COPD, 5 family members and 7 healthcare professionals, and recommendations for the self-management system are summarised in this document.

We also visited Breathe Easy meetings across South Yorkshire to speak to people with COPD about the project and to let them know the results of Phase One.

Recommendations for the ‘Physical Activity and Functioning’ section of the system were presented at the King’s Fund International Digital Health and Care Congress in Sept 2014.

Please see our video:

Further information can be found at:

CLAHRC Project Partners

University of Sheffield

Other Project Partners

Special thanks to South Yorkshire’s Breathe Easy groups (British Lung Foundation) and the Pulmonary Rehabilitation teams of NHS Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster. Most especially we wish to thank the participants in the research.