04 May 2017
- Digital Health

A new study from myAirCoach asking patients and healthcare professionals about their preferences and the utility of mobile health tools, confirms m-health potential for easier asthma control.

It is widely recognised that mobile health (mHealth) has the potential to transform the self-management of chronic diseases. For asthma, a chronic disease affecting 30 million children and adults under 45 in Europe, self-management remains a challenge due to poor inhaler technique and adherence problems.

MyAirCoach is a mobile health system that, connected to a multi-sensor based inhaler, measures not only the asthma patient condition and symptoms real-time, but also provides patients and healthcare professionals with information about the environmental factors that trigger asthma around the patient.

While patients are involved from the conception of the project, myAirCoach partners have gone further and asked people with asthma and healthcare professionals their opinion on the utility and efficacy of mHealth tools for asthma self-management. Their preferences and requirements have been put together into ‘Perspectives of patients and healthcare professionals on mHealth for asthma self-management: A mixed methods research study to develop a user-centred system’, a study published on World Asthma Day 2017.

It comes out from it that mhealth tools can help patients manage several aspects of their disease and how it can facilitate patient daily life. It also relieve differences between patients with controlled and not controlled asthma in managing their disease and additional requirements to have a better design, be easy to use and personalized for each person.

The study describes how patients and healthcare professionals are strong supporters of mobile health tools for the self-management of asthma, and how this technology helps monitoring the environment to avoid asthma triggers. However, patients are most frequently used to monitor and collect data, while healthcare professionals are more worried about a system alerting patients to deteriorating asthma control and advising them when to seek medical attention. 

MyAirCoach Advisory Patient Forum is composed of more than 20 expert patients that participate and advise on the development of the project. The article below is a result of their work and summarises in lay terms the findings of the scientific study.

Giuseppe de Carlo coordinates the Patient Advisory Forum:  “While many patients already use mHealth solutions to manage their disease, only few tools like myAirCoach are being developed directly with patients to respond to their needs first, and to collect the information necessary for an optimal monitoring by their doctors”.

Giuseppe de Carlo from the European Federation of Allergies and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations and Erika Kennington from Asthma UK are the two myAirCoach partners coordinating the Advisory Patient Forum.

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