Mobile Asthma Apps
Digital health technology is rapidly expanding for asthma management. Mobile asthma management apps may include information about asthma, symptom diaries, medication reminders, GPS inhaler attachments, and early warning software for asthma triggers. Some apps claim to be able to accomplish some level of customization to the patient's asthma action plan to provide more tailored management advice. Asthmapolis is a mobile app that uses a sensor to track medication use; the sensor syncs with an individual's smartphone, and as a result event logs are automatically generated rather than being dependent on an individual entering log data. Several apps provide visual output that can be shared with a health care provider either during a clinic visit or sent in remotely when a change in the asthma action plan is indicated. AsthmaSense recently announced a cloud portal that allows the patient, family, and health care provider to monitor, store, and share an individual's asthma data to potentially manage asthma more effectively (iSonea Ltd., 2013).
Box 3 provides a list of some popular asthma apps that can be found in the iTunes Store or on Google Play. The reader is encouraged to review the screenshots for these applications to get an idea of the range of self-management materials included. Although these tools are promising, more research evidence is needed to support the clinical or financial benefits of these apps (NEHI, 2012). In a recent review of 103 asthma apps, Huckvale, Car, Morrison, & Car (2012) found that only three apps met their definition of providing comprehensive asthma information. To navigate the maze of mobile health apps, the reader is encouraged to check out iMedicalApps (https://www.imedicalapps.com), an online publication written by a team of health care professionals that provides reviews on mobile health technology and apps.
J Pediatr Health Care. 2013;27(4):e39-e42. © 2013 Mosby, Inc.