GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced the launch of MyAsthma, the UK's first, free personalised health application (app) designed to help people over the age of 12 take greater control of their asthma. The app features the Asthma Control Test™ (ACT), a simple 30-second test developed by leading asthma experts, which gives asthma patients a useful measure of their asthma control in an easy-to-understand score.
Although many patients are receiving treatment for their asthma, a recent survey in the UK shows that almost 50% do not have their asthma under control.(1) MyAsthma applies new technology to traditional asthma management to provide a daily personalised plan helping patients to manage their asthma more effectively.
"MyAsthma is exciting for people with asthma as it uses new technology to help them better understand and control this chronic disease. MyAsthma can also be used by carers of people with asthma, especially parents and is a great way to teach older children the importance of taking control of their asthma. This creates a habit that they can carry into adulthood, a significant and positive step for the future of asthma care in the UK" said Dr Mike Thomas, Asthma UK Senior Research Fellow with the University of Aberdeen and Chief Medical Adviser, Asthma UK. "Empowering patients to take more control of long-term conditions not only leads to improved health outcomes but also cost savings."
Asthma is a chronic condition of the airways with symptoms including breathing difficulties and sudden episodes of breathlessness.(2) Asthma affects approximately 5.4 million people in the UK(3) with 4.3m adults and 1.1m children, currently receiving treatment for mild, moderate or severe asthma.(3) When not well controlled, asthma symptoms can result in hospitalisation, even fatality. Asthma places a significant economic burden on both individuals and society. The NHS spends around £1 billion a year treating and caring for people with asthma and between 2008 and 2009, up to 1.1 million working days were lost due to breathing or lung problems.(3)
Designed with the support of a panel of asthma experts and Professor Rob Horne, a behavioural psychologist at the University of London, MyAsthma displays localised information on asthma triggers such as pollen count, pollution and weather. It is enabled to help patients track their symptoms and ACT score evolution over time and contains a library with useful information about asthma. An algorithm generates tailored messages, based on a person's ACT score and individual profiles, to help people address the personal barriers they face and to help them improve their management of the condition. MyAsthma is convenient and easy to use allowing patients to track their asthma control at the quick touch of a smartphone screen, which can help to create a more informed dialogue during consultations with their healthcare professional.
GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
1. Adamek L et al. Poster presented at ATS 2011.
2. National Health Service. Asthma. Last accessed 18 Nov 2011 http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/Pages/Introduction.aspx
3. Asthma UK. For journalists: key facts & statistics. Last accessed on 17 Nov 2011 http://www.asthma.org.uk/news_media/media_resources/for_journalists_key.html