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      Statistical Process Control Improves The Feasibility Of Remote Physiological Monitoring In Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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          Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occur with increasing frequency as the disease progresses and account for poor health status, worse prognosis, and higher healthcare expenditure.


          We developed a networked system for remote physiological monitoring (RPM) at home and optimized it with statistical process control (SPC) with the goal of earlier detection of COPD exacerbations. We enrolled 17 patients with moderate to severe COPD with a mean (SD) age of 71.1 (7.2) years. We obtained daily symptom scores, treatment adherence and activity levels using a programmable device, and measured daily slow and forced spirometry (FEV 1, FVC, PEF), inspiratory capacity (IC) and oxygenation (SpO 2). To identify exacerbations, we developed rolling prediction intervals for FVC, FEV 1, IC and SpO 2 using SPC.


          The time taken to perform daily monitoring was reduced from 12.7 (5.4) minutes to 6.5 (2.6) minutes through software refinements during the study. Adherence to forced and slow spirometry was 62.6% and 62.4%, respectively. The within-subject coefficients of variation for FEV 1, PEF and IC were 12.2%, 16.2%, and 13.1%, respectively. Event rates per patient-year for exacerbations were: self-reported 0.42, 2/3 Anthonisen Criteria (AC) 0.42, modified AC 2.23, systemic corticosteroid use 0.56, and antibiotic use 0.56.


          We successfully implemented a networked system for RPM of symptoms, treatment adherence, and physiology at home in patients with COPD. We demonstrated that SPC improves the feasibility of RPM in COPD patients which may increase the likelihood of detecting COPD exacerbations.

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          A pilot study of a mobile-phone-based home monitoring system to assist in remote interventions in cases of acute exacerbation of COPD.

          We conducted a six-month feasibility study of a mobile-phone-based home monitoring system, called M-COPD. Patients with a history of moderate Acute Exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) were given a mobile phone to record major symptoms (dyspnoea, sputum colour and volume), minor symptoms (cough and wheezing) and vital signs. A care team remotely monitored the recorded data and provided clinical interventions. Eight patients (mean age 65 years) completed the trial. Ten acute exacerbations occurred during the trial and were successfully treated at home. Prior to the AECOPD episode, the combined score of the major symptoms increased significantly (P < 0.05). Following the intervention, it decreased significantly (P < 0.05) within two weeks and returned to the baseline. The score of the minor symptoms also increased significantly (P < 0.05), but the decrease following the intervention was not significant. There were significantly fewer hospital admissions during the trial, fewer ED presentations and fewer GP visits than in a six-month matched period in the preceding year. The results demonstrate the potential of home monitoring for analysing respiratory symptoms for early intervention of AECOPD.
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            Applying statistical process control to clinical data: an illustration.

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              Using statistical process control to make data-based clinical decisions.

              Applied behavior analysis is based on an investigation of variability due to interrelationships among antecedents, behavior, and consequences. This permits testable hypotheses about the causes of behavior as well as for the course of treatment to be evaluated empirically. Such information provides corrective feedback for making data-based clinical decisions. This paper considers how a different approach to the analysis of variability based on the writings of Walter Shewart and W. Edwards Deming in the area of industrial quality control helps to achieve similar objectives. Statistical process control (SPC) was developed to implement a process of continual product improvement while achieving compliance with production standards and other requirements for promoting customer satisfaction. SPC involves the use of simple statistical tools, such as histograms and control charts, as well as problem-solving techniques, such as flow charts, cause-and-effect diagrams, and Pareto charts, to implement Deming's management philosophy. These data-analytic procedures can be incorporated into a human service organization to help to achieve its stated objectives in a manner that leads to continuous improvement in the functioning of the clients who are its customers. Examples are provided to illustrate how SPC procedures can be used to analyze behavioral data. Issues related to the application of these tools for making data-based clinical decisions and for creating an organizational climate that promotes their routine use in applied settings are also considered.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                13 November 2019
                : 14
                : 2485-2496
                [1 ]Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory, Departments of Medicine and Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California , Los Angeles, CA, USA
                [2 ]Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University , Bangkok, Thailand
                [3 ]eResearch Technology Inc ., Philadelphia, PA, USA
                [4 ]Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California , Los Angeles, CA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Christopher B Cooper David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California , 10833 Le Conte Avenue, 37-131 CHS Building, Los Angeles, CA90095-1690, USATel +1 310 470 3983Fax +1 310 206 8211 Email
                © 2019 Cooper et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 5, References: 25, Pages: 12
                Original Research


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