Warm Hands at home

Warm Hands At Home is a customised telemedicine service which allows COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) sufferers to monitor themselves and keep a diary of their daily life. It allows them to share that information with doctors, caretakers, friends and family. Warm Hands is a service built upon an existing telemedicine system. It introduces a new role between patient and health services, which provides care and support on a daily basis. Warm Hands also allows sufferers to build their own care network by sharing their information and helping each other. "Warm Hands At Home" project was part of Service Design class at Pilot Year, CIID.

Frederiksberg Hospital (Copenhagen, Denmark) is creating an opportunity to improve overall performance in the care of COPD patients. Patients prefer staying at home over being in hospital. Hospitals, and the welfare system in general, would also benefit if more patients were treated in their homes. There is the possibility of a win-win solution for the patients and for the hospital when considering a telemedicine solution. Telemedicine has great potential to improve the way heath care is provided worldwide. Some good results have been obtained already, but much more could be done to improve the everyday practice. Frederiksberg Hospital has the motivation and a care framework which will shortly be implemented through an interesting pilot project for treating COPD patients.

Faculty: Brian Rink, Simona Maschi, Ana Amorim
Co-students: Kevin Cannon, Mimi Son, Nina Christoffersen

A safety net in the home: We found that the sufferers have a safety net outside the home, such as GPs, hospital, family members or friends. However, this implies the need to ask for help at the right time.We aimed to create a sense of safety. The Warm Hands service will always be watching and asking if help is needed.

Self learning: Our findings indicated that it can be difficult for COPD patients to accept the state they are diagnosed with. This lead to denial - which does not help to stabilise the condition. The diary, which links to the telemedicine device, helps the sufferer to be more aware of his/her daily activities and therefore more conscious of his/her actions. Also, by observing others, the sufferer might feel inspired to change behavior or perhaps lend a helping hand or advice to others.

Prevention: A person suffering from COPD can catch another illness, like pneumonia, easily and if not treated rapidly the person can risk being admitted to the hospital.

Warm Hands is a 3D diary with blocks which indicates different activities. The diary is connected to the telemedicine device which makes it possible for a Warm Hands nurse to follow the person’s activities. It is also possible for a friend or family member to follow the sufferer to see if a helping hand is needed. The Warm Hands system notes how long it has been since the sufferer had performed routine tasks, like shopping or doing their laundry, and will suggest services that will take care of this for them. The system will also suggest joining gym sessions, if they are not able to get there, perhaps because of bad weather conditions or because of recovering from an illness.


Warm Hands at home is a service that keeps an eye on you. We assume that in the future every COPD sufferer will have a telemedicine device in their home – Warm Hands is activated by using a physical diary which links to this device. The content of the diary is sent to the Warm Hands nurse every day – and also to friends or family if preferred. The content of the diary helps the nurse or doctor save time. They can focus on actual health issues and offer more relevant advice.

The content of the diary is sent to the system which can suggest activities based on the diary. If a person has not been shopping or doing the laundry, the system will suggest a delivery service. If the person is not interacting with the diary, a nurse will call him or her to check if everything is okay. If the person has been sick or for another reason is not possible to attend their gym class – the system suggests a remote gym session, which makes it possible to have the social interaction at home instead.

The system can create a contact to a nurse, which creates an opportunity for care at the right time. The nurse will suggest a visit to the doctor if needed – which can lead to lowering the duration of illnesses by getting help on time, then avoiding a stay at the hospital. The sufferer can also keep track of their fellow sufferers, perhaps creating a sense of competition or lending a helping hand when needed. The service aims to create a care system which makes it possible for COPD sufferers to get what he/she needs when they don’t have the energy to ask for it. The Warm Hands service also gives sufferers the peace of mind of knowing that someone is always looking after them.