Use of a digital tool to support and optimise high-risk asthma patients

During the first national lockdown, the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership (HCP) wanted to support high-risk asthma patients who were unable to access standard care. They used an external provider to call patients proactively for a medicines review and registered them on a digital self-management tool. Patients were then followed up by primary care.

Situation

People with respiratory conditions, including those with asthma, are particularly at risk from COVID-19. With current restrictions they are unable to access primary care as they usually would, leading to poor control of their condition and an increased risk of non-elective care utilisation.

Aspiration

The HCP wanted to find a new way to remotely engage with and support patients with asthma. It commissioned an external service to call its patients and register them on a digital tool to improve self-management and provide follow-up support. This tool could then be used by both patients and primary care clinicians in the ongoing management of asthma.

Solution and impact

myAsthma is an application developed by provider My mhealth. It is a digital tool which allows people with asthma to self-manage more effectively and clinicians to remotely monitor, manage and support at a population scale.

It was used in this case study to provide longitudinal support to patients beyond their initial telephone consultation. It allowed patients to complete inhaler technique training, see their asthma action plan, track their symptoms via the asthma control test and peak flow diary and use a range of other tools to improve their self-management.

Functionality

The myAsthma app can be accessed on almost any internet-connected. It provides people with asthma with the tools they need to self-manage more effectively and clinicians with a way to remotely monitor, manage and support their patients at a population scale.

The My mhealth platform is built on React Native architecture, meaning that it is accessible as either a web app via any web browser, or can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets via the Apple or Android app stores. The app is listed in the NHS Apps library.

Capabilities

myAsthma contains tools for both patients and clinicians including:

  • an asthma action plan
  • inhaler technique training
  • asthma control test and peak flow diary
  • education
  • a range of other self-management tools
  • a clinician interface allowing remote monitoring and optimised annual reviews

Scope

myAsthma is suitable for use across the whole asthma care pathway. It can be used by clinicians and NHS staff in primary, community, secondary or tertiary care to support and augment their service delivery. For people living with asthma it can be accessed at home or on the move, providing education, interventions and tools which they can use to manage their condition more effectively.

In this case study it was used in primary care to support people with asthma with a range of tools to improve their management of their condition.

Key figures/quotes

  • Over 1,300 registered patients
  • Good patient feedback
  • More than 800 educational videos watched
  • 497 asthma control test scores entered

Find out more

Find out more from the My mhealth website

Key contact

Dr Harry Thirkettle, head of operations, My mhealth

harry.thirkettle@mymhealth.com

Mark Bramley, PMO manager, Mid and South Essex HCP

mark.bramley@nhs.net