The Asthma Ally app can track patients' symptoms and alert their physicians when those symptoms are not under control, according to findings of a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
The Asthma Ally app can track patients’ symptoms and alert their physicians when those symptoms are not under control, according to findings of a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Researchers from Utah presented a case study in which a 42-year-old male alerted his allergist’s office to track when his asthma symptoms were not under control via an app called Asthma Ally. The man, an asthma patient, was able to connect with his doctor using the app and set up follow up appointments to regain control of his symptoms.
“Asthma Ally is unique in that when the person with asthma loads the app, they connect to their allergist’s office through a doctor portal,” explained lead study author Richard Lucas, PhD, in a press release. “In the case of the patient in the study, the remote delivery of his symptom data alerted clinic staff to his poor asthma control. They brought him into the office, and following the intervention, his asthma symptoms began to improve.”
The app allows patients to track and get feedback about their symptoms, such as the air quality and the current environmental conditions. Their physician can view this information in an online dashboard designated from each patient. Physicians are then able to more easily facilitate remedies and treatments for their patients after viewing the patient’s changing symptoms combined with environmental factors like pollen count, dust, ozone, and humidity.
“One of the main benefits to an app like this is that for people with a chronic condition like asthma, it helps keep an eye out for changes that might indicate there’s a problem,” study author Richard Hendershot, MD, who is an allergist and ACAAI Fellow, continued in the statement. “If those suffering from asthma, along with their allergist, can address a problem while it’s still readily controlled, they might lessen the chance of an urgent care visit, or hospitalization. That saves everyone in the long run, financially as well as medically.”
This app is particularly beneficial for those that are social media savvy, the researchers believe.
“A smart phone application that allows a patient with asthma to communicate in real time with their allergist may have great potential as a tool to improve and optimize asthma care,” concluded allergist Gailen Marshall, MD, PhD, ACAAI Fellow and Editor in Chief of the publication. “It can identify problems that the patient may not realize are serious well before such problems cause harm to the patient.”
The updated ACAAI Asthma Management and the Allergist: Better Outcomes at Lower Cost regulations suggest that asthma care provided by allergists is linked to better patient outcomes across a wide range of factors. Patients have fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, higher ratings for quality of care, fewer restrictions in activities, and improved physical functioning while under an allergist’s care than under primary care, the authors said.