A new and unique smartphone app to help people with asthma manage their condition has been developed by lung experts at the Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The MyAsthma app has been launched on the iTunes App Store and is available to download free of charge. The app has been devised by GSK with asthma researchers at the Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit, a world-leading centre of excellence in the field based at The University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.
Currently, 5.4 million people in the UK receive treatment for asthma including 1.1 million children. Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack and on average three people a day die from it. Although the prevalence of asthma is thought to have plateaued in the past 20 years, the UK still has some of the highest rates in Europe1.
The MyAsthma app allows people with asthma to track and manage their condition. The app can also be used by carers who can track up to five people's conditions on their smartphone. By capturing environmental, pollen and activity data the app can allow users to record and analyse factors that seem to trigger their asthma. Users can access the clinically validated Asthma Control TestTM (ACT) or Childhood Asthma Control Test (C-ACT) to monitor their asthma control every 30 days. The app includes:
• Current environmental information — air temperature, pollution and pollen levels.
• A record of asthma attacks and symptoms including date, triggers and inhaler use.
• A medication track.
• Peak flow or spirometry readings record.
• Sharing access of personal asthma summary with healthcare professionals.
• Links to Apple Health, leading fitness trackers and other health apps.
Associate Clinical Professor and lead researcher on the new app, Dr Dominick Shaw, said: "This app has the potential to be a significant step forward in asthma self-management. It will help people take control of their own asthma by improving their understanding of what triggers poor asthma control. Good self-management in asthma has many benefits and is associated with improved outcomes, including fewer attacks, unplanned primary care visits and hospital admissions."
Speaking about the collaboration with the Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit to develop MyAsthma, Kai Gait, Global Digital Director, GSK, said: "GSK's goal is to help all people with asthma live every breath. We believe that enabling patients to take control of their disease is one of the best ways to help them achieve improved health so that asthma doesn't need to stand in their way.
"With MyAsthma our aim has been to use advances in smartphone and connected technologies to advance asthma patients' understanding of their condition, but also to help them share their information with their healthcare team. GSK is proud to have partnered with the Nottingham research team to develop the first CE marked medical device application for people with asthma, demonstrating our commitment to furthering the understanding of respiratory diseases."
One user commenting on the app said: "It looks really great and is currently helping me to keep an eye on my young son's asthma and identify what are the things that trigger his attacks."
Another user said: "The app seems fantastic so far. You can take a test to see how well you are managing with your asthma and then it will tell you about your triggers such as pollen etc. You can also build a plan to take to your doctor. So far so good!"
MyAsthma has been shortlisted for the AXA PPP Healthcare Health Tech & You Awards 2017. The awards recognise health technology that has the potential to or is already making a difference to people's lives. The winners will be announced on April 27 2017.
The MyAsthma app is not intended to diagnose asthma or provide advice on medicines as this is the responsibility of the asthma patients' healthcare professionals. MyAsthma is determined to be a Class I Medical Device and CE marked according to the EU Medical Device Directive 93/42/EEC to permit use within the UK market.