(Electronic Asthma Self-management for Young People)
Asthma is a serious global health problem and its prevalence has been increasing worldwide over the past two decades, particularly in children. It is the most common chronic childhood disease in the UK and affects 1.1 one million (1 in 10) children. Asthma accounts for a higher number of emergency bed-days and emergency hospital admissions than any other paediatric long-term condition. In 2006-7, 38,500 emergency bed-days were recorded in those under 19 with a primary diagnosis of asthma. Studies suggest that up to 75% of hospital admissions with asthma are avoidable with better self-management using action plans2 but that sustained & effective uptake of such tools is currently limited2. This is particularly true of teenagers & adolescent patients. Supporting effective self-mamagement and adherence to treatment remains challenging.
Work supported by the NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement, Asthma UK, and UCLH/ UCL Partners has focused on imprvoing emergency & urgent care for children and young people with asthma in the London Borough of Camden, It produced a three pronged approach, based on British Thoracic Society Guidelines3:
• Asthma Action Plan
• Asthma Hand Held Record
• Asthma Annual Assessment Proforma4.
These Patient-centred educational tools that support knowledge of treatments have the potential to improve treatement adherence, symptom control and quality of life. Ultimately this self-management empowers patients to increase self-sufficiency in the management of their condition.
Children and Young People rountinely access multimedia tecnologies and web based resources in their everyday lives. Within the next decade, patients with chronic long-term conditions such as asthma will be able to access digital healthcare, transforming how the next generation manage their health & interact with health care providers.
In partnership with Asthma UK, QMUL and Solar Embedded we have developed an innovative Mobile Phone Application (app for Android Mobiles) ‘My Asthma Log’ to support improved education, treatment adherence & emergency self-management (EASY programme) in children and young people with asthma.
The mobile-phone ‘app’ enables patients to manage their health needs with an individualised asthma plan. The ‘app’ is an interactive communication platform which will allow patients to access their emergency self-management plans (including digital images of their inhalers), hand-held records & educational material such as information on the asthma and links videos of correct inhaler
technique. It ultilizes a user-friendly icon/button interface. NHS London will host this ‘app’ on it’s new App store which will be launched this November.
For further information contact the clinical lead for the project, Dr Caro Minasian, Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, University College London Hospitals (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Catherine Clapton HIEC Fellow Asthma Children and Young People (email@example.com)
Asthma UK http://www.asthma.org.uk/
2 (DH) Outcomes strategy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma in England (2011) http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_127974
3 British Thoracic Society (BTS) Guidance (2009) (http://www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/qrg101.pdf)
4 North East,Central London and Essex Health Innovation and Education Cluster: http://www.necles.org.uk/