Report: Connected devices, mobile tools key to helping asthma patients

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Connected devices and mHealth tools could lead to a new treatment path for the 5.4 million asthma sufferers in the United Kingdom. To that end, the nation's health services organization must embrace such technologies and foster future development, according to a report from  Asthma UK.

The nonprofit group says device development and adoption, which includes current smart inhalers, could ignite a “complete digital health revolution”. That not only would help patients, but improve healthcare efficiency.

Currently, one in four U.K. asthma patients is willing to switch out their traditional check-up with an mHealth approach, the report states. The authors add that two two-thirds of asthma deaths are preventable. Those data points are prime reasons Asthma UK is calling on the National Health Service to support greater research into management and treatment solutions such as remote monitoring.

“Digital health tech is likely to be the game changer that transforms current asthma management and the patient-doctor relationship,” Asthma UK Chief Executive Kay Boycott says in an announcement, noting the promising benefits from smart inhaler technology development in the U.S.

The report urges NHS to build a testing program for smart inhaler device development.

“Emerging data from the USA includes a clinical trial of smart inhalers which saw a 60 percent improvement in asthma control. Bearing in mind that 85 percent of asthma patients are being treated in primary care, this kind of technology could help ease pressure on the healthcare system by drastically reducing the number of routine GP appointments required by people with asthma through routine remote monitoring,” the authors write.

new wearable tracking system developed by North Carolina State University researchers focuses on monitoring heart rate, lung function and environmental factors to stem asthma attacks.

The Asthma UK report also encourages the NHS to provide greater clarity on mHealth technology validation by government agencies, noting greater interest, adoption and use by British residents.

For more information:
- read the Asthma UK report