Being diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) can be both daunting and difficult. It requires accepting and adopting an entirely new lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, changing your diet, and exercise – particularly difficult for those with breathing limitations. Many COPD patients navigate these changes alone, and even those with family support tend to feel isolated, not being able to learn from others who have a shared experience.

The isolation is a peculiar phenomenon, as COPD is the fifth leading cause of death in Denmark, and soon to be one of the biggest globally. At the same time, there exists a large community of older COPD patients who are willing to help the newly diagnosed. COPDiary aims to close this gap, providing a mentoring platform that connects new and experienced patients with each other.

Based on the patient’s unique circumstances, their doctor recommends and matches them to another patient who is more experienced dealing with COPD. They each fill out a daily diary, logging health, moods and consistency of sticking to goals like exercise or taking medications. Matched participants exchange their daily logs, learning from each others habits, and finding mental stability in working with someone with similar issues. Over time the hope is that they form a mutually supportive friendship.

Concrete data from the diaries (as in health and mood) is anonymised and analyzed to identify patterns and trends that will help doctors and other stakeholders better treat COPD.

The team extensively researched this global health issue, and carried out a handful of in-depth interviews of people dealing with COPD for 10+ years. The information gathered was collated, mapped and then analyzed for common themes and insights. One of the most influential quotes from this work – “If I can help others to live with this disease, then I’d like to do that”.`