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Digital tools are already part of our daily life, whether they are mobile applications or connected machines. In health, digital tools can play a key role in allowing guided self-management, leading to huge savings in healthcare (estimated 99 billion Euro of potential savings in healthcare costs in 2017 in EU). But what do patients think?

EFA President Mikaela Odemyr was invited to give the patients perspective on the issue at the EU Summit on Air Pollution and M-Health organised in Vilnius last March 23rd by EUFOREA and the Lithuanian Ministry of Health, and in partnership with EFA among other organisations. In particular, Mikaela stressed the advantages that mHealth can bring to patients with chronic diseases, such as:

  • support better adherence to treatment
  • act as a symptoms tracker in order to predict exacerbations
  • provide information on external triggers such as pollution
  • be used as an assistance tool in case of emergency
  • represent an educational tool, improving health literacy and empowering the patient
  • facilitate shared decision making.

However, there are still some barriers which prevent patients from fully unlocking the mHealth potential, such as the limited connectivity with other tools and with electronic health records, a regulatory framework note yet optimal, and the lack of reimbursement for certain tools. In addition, both patients and healthcare professionals are sometimes reluctant to adopt these tools in their routine because of a lack of trust and motivation.

You can consult the full EU Summit programme here.

To know more about our work on digital health visit our webpage.

Development of an mHealth tool for asthma

In the last 3 years EFA has been directly involved in the realisation of a mHealth personalised asthma monitoring system, funded by Horizon 2020. MyAirCoach has been conceived and developed with and for the patients. It tracks physiological, behavioural and environmental factors of the patients and around them, empowering and guiding them towards a better management of their disease. The myAirCoach system is made up of sensor-based devices, such as a smart-inhaler adapter, a device for monitoring indoor air quality and a fitbit, in communication with a mobile app. The myaircoach system is currently been tested by patients in The Netherlands and the UK.

Learn more about myAirCoach here.     

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Tags: Category: News
Country: EU
Disease area: Asthma,Allergy
Theme: Healthcare, - m-health, Air quality, - Air pollution