The recently published ‘National Review of Asthma Deaths’ has highlighted the danger of apathy in the context of this potentially deadly condition.
With 5.5 million asthmatics in the UK, asthma is a well-known and dangerously underestimated condition. The report identifies 1,242 asthma deaths in the UK throughout 2012 – one of the highest rates is Europe. The majority of these deaths were potentially avoidable and the authors identify healthcare professionals and the health system for providing a substandard level of care.
While healthcare provision can no doubt be improved, it must be remembered that patients also have a role to play in the management of their condition.
emotive on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline, have developed and continue to improve a patient support app for people with this life threatening condition called ‘MyAsthma’. This app – available in 20 countries and still expanding – provides patients with an on-the-go and easy to use tool for managing their condition.
MyAsthma offers people with asthma the ability to use a standardised assessment, the Asthma Control Test (ACT), to get an understanding of their condition. Users are then able to monitor their condition over time and learn how to better manage their asthma through informative content developed with Asthma specialists The app can also aid conversation between the patient and their health care professional by providing insights into patient management over time.
In addition to empowering people to engage with their asthma, the app uses geolocation to provide users with information about important asthma triggers in their area, including pollution, pollen count and temperature. This combination of providing information and enabling users to use the information to get a better understanding of their condition will hopefully help reduce the risk of unnecessary asthma deaths in the UK and internationally.
While the report highlights the need for improvements in asthma care, we must not forget the value of empowering patients to manage their own conditions. With the existence of mobile apps such as MyAsthma, today, people with asthma have a comprehensive and innovative suite of tools available to help them manage their own health.
Find out more about asthma patient support at myasthma.com