The Icahn School of Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System, one of the top medical school recipients of NIH funding, and innovative digital health development firm LifeMap Solutions have announced the expansion of their collaborative free Asthma Health app project to include the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Released in March 2015, alongside the launch of Apple’s current-generation ResearchKit app development platform in the U.S., the Asthma Health app is designed to facilitate asthma patient education and self-monitoring, promote positive behavioral changes, and reinforce adherence to treatment plans according to current asthma guidelines. The app also enables people with asthma to participate in a large-scale medical research study via their iPhone.
The app provides user-personalized reminders to take prescribed medications; helps users track their condition 24/7; allows reviews of trends in asthma treatment; and provides feedback on progress.
According to the app’s description, the aim is “to help patients experience less asthma-related distress with better symptoms control, improved quality of life, and fewer unexpected medical visits.”
The app lets you record and track your:
• Daytime and nighttime asthma symptoms and how they affect your daily activities;
• Daily usage of controller and rescue inhalers;
• Triggers such as colds, increased physical activity, strong smells, exhaust fumes, house dust, and animals;
• Peak flow;
• Emergency department visits, medical visits, and changes in medication;
• Steps and heart rate graphs through the Apple Health App.
Asthma patients can receive reminders and notifications about medications and local air quality, get information on learning proper inhaler techniques, and watch physician-approved videos for tips on effective asthma management.
To join this research study on asthma, you need to:
• Be age 18 or older;
• Have asthma confirmed by a doctor;
• Live in the U.S., U.K., or Ireland.
This app will read or write data from Apple’s Health App, with your permission.
The app requires iOS 8.0 or later and is compatible with the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.
The app-enabled study tracks symptom patterns in an individual and can identify potential triggers for symptom exacerbations, helping researchers discover new ways to personalize asthma treatment.
“We are excited to expand our successful Asthma Health research app to the United Kingdom and Ireland using Apple’s ResearchKit framework,” said Eric Schadt, Ph.D., the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, in a news release.
“Over the past year in the United States, we recruited and enrolled over 8,600 research participants in our study in one of the largest real-world epidemiological studies of asthma. Now we’re going global by adding the UK and Ireland to our clinical research platform to collect an unprecedented breadth and depth of real-world health data and create a more holistic view of individuals and the disease on a population level,” Schadt said.
ResearchKit is a software framework designed by Apple that facilitates more frequent and accurate data gathering for doctors and scientists from participants using iPhone apps. When granted user permission, the Asthma Health app can access health data from HealthKit to track the users’ exercise activity levels, such as walking and running distance, utilize the iPhone’s built-in GPS sensors to provide local air quality readings, and monitor third-party device measured asthma inhaler use.
“To date, our Asthma Health study in the USA has demonstrated the feasibility of reliably consenting participants and collecting rich data across a large, diverse population in a cost-effective and accelerated manner by digitizing and automating the research processes that are traditionally labor-intensive and time consuming,” explained Yu-Feng Yvonne Chan, M.D., Ph.D., director of Digital Health and Personalized Medicine at the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai. “With the UK and Ireland launch, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial, specifically A/B testing a new app feature to assess its impact on engagement and the retention of recruited participants over time.”
“As we expand internationally with our Asthma Health app, we are continuing to enhance it, making it even more effective and engaging for all users,” observed Corey Bridges, CEO of LifeMap Solutions. “This new version of Asthma Health introduces enhanced air-quality readings from BreezoMeter, with an intuitive map of real-time data to help users and providers identify environmental triggers. And we’re working closely with clinical experts at Mount Sinai to develop new features that increase user knowledge and enhance doctor/patient visits. In addition to the features we recently announced, such as Doctor Dashboard and electronic medical record integration, we’re always honing our gamification features to provide positive feedback and rewards to participants for daily usage in order to increase long-term retention and bolster powerful data collection.”
The Asthma Health app is available for free download in the App Store here: