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Give your feedback on a new asthma management smartphone app prototype

Lay study title: A4A – APP for Asthma: Apps, devices and connected asthma: exploring potential, developing and refining prototypes and understanding practicalities to support self-management for people with asthma. 

Institution: The study is part of a research programme for the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research. The work is funded by Asthma UK and the Chief Scientist Office (Scotland).

About the study: 

Background: Asthma self-management with an action plan leads to better day-to-day control of asthma symptoms and less time off work or school and also reduces the risk of an asthma attack. Emerging technologies, such as smart inhalers, artificial intelligence and internet-of-thing (smart gadgets connect to the internet to collect and transfer data), may be able to support people to manage their asthma.

Researchers at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research know from previous work that action plans, monitoring with feedback, allergy/weather warnings, tailor-made running coaching are features that are most frequently requested within an app. Healthcare professionals' support can also encourage people to download and use relevant apps.

This study: The researchers want to expand our understanding on using emerging technologies to help people to look after their asthma.

When will this study be recruiting? 

13 May 2019 to 01 July 2019

What will participants be asked to do? 

The researchers will select 15 people with asthma to take part in a one-hour individual interview in order to find out what support they want to receive from technologies and refine an app system to fulfil those needs. The interviews will be arranged at a time and place that is convenient to you.

Who can take part? 

Anyone who is living in the UK, is 16 year or over, has been diagnosed with asthma by their doctor and is not under the care of a hospital clinic or has been admitted to hospital in the last 3 months for asthma is eligible to take part.

Who is conducting the research? Professor Hilary Pinnock will lead the study, supported by Dr Chi Yan Hui, Professor Brian McKinstry and their technology partner, Tactuum.

Who has reviewed the study? 

The study has been reviewed by the London Fulham Research Ethics Committee.

How will the study benefit people with asthma? Taking part in this research may not benefit you personally. However, being involved in the study will help the researchers to refine better self-management system for people with asthma.

Expenses: Travel or out-of-pocket expenses will be covered.

What next / who to contact: If you are interested in taking part, please visit the project website.

If you have any questions about the study, please contact Io Hui T: 01316503209 or E: io.hui@ed.ac.uk

Contribute to the development of the first interactive smartphone asthma action plan app for the NHS

Lay study title: Pulmonis - Digitalising the Action Plan into an Interactive, Personalised Smartphone Companion

Institution: Imperial College London

About the study: Presently asthma patients within the UK are provided with a paper Personalised Asthma Action Plan (PAAP) to support their self-management. Despite evidence suggesting its use reduces the risk of hospitalisation by up to four times, long term use of the plan is limited. Furthermore, doctors and nurses are currently not equipped with the tools to accurately assess patient’s asthma trends outside the clinical environment. Smartphone devices with well-designed eHealth applications have been shown to improve patient outcomes by positively changing health behaviour. Yet, research shows there are currently ‘no applications on the market which combine reliable, accurate and supportive tools for self-management’ 

Researchers at Imperial College London have teamed up with an award-winning design studio and Asthma UK to develop a unique asthma management app for iPhone called Pulmonis. Underpinned by the validated Asthma UK Action Plan, Pulmonis will become the first low-cost digital asthma companion of its kind, detecting deteriorations earlier and supporting asthma patients every step of the way.

As a project driven by the end-users’ needs, we want to involve people like you from the very beginning, until the very end of development.

When will this study be recruiting? 

The study recruitment will start in August 2017 

Who can take part? 

We would like to recruit people with asthma based in London who are both:

  1.  Aged 18+
  2. Newly diagnosed (Diagnosed within the last 1 year) and/or Asthma of any severity

What will participants be asked to do? 

If you volunteer to help us, you will be invited to at least two group or individual discussion sessions at Imperial College’s South Kensington Campus. We want to understand how newly diagnosed and people with different severities of asthma approach their self-management. During these sessions, we will show you exciting app prototypes to learn what works well and what needs modification to make an app that is acceptable and suitable for long-term use

Who is conducting the research? 

The qualitative research will be conducted by Dr. Anna De Simoni, Dr. James Moss and Mr Uddhav Vaghela, with supervision by Professor Andrew Bush (Royal Brompton and Harefield Trust) and Professor Martyn Partridge.  

Who has reviewed the study? 

This project is funded by an Asthma UK Innovation Peer-Reviewed Grant and has been reviewed by Imperial College’s Research Ethics Committee. We have been given favourable review and have received ethical approval.

How will the study benefit people with asthma? 

The key output of this project - Pulmonis - could offer a low-cost, more accurate and simplified way to approach asthma self-management. We envisage it as being a ‘bridging tool’, supporting newly diagnosed patients form an independent routine and assisting those with poorly controlled asthma better respond to the early signs of deteriorations. For doctors and nurses, this app will greatly inform their clinical decision-making in ways not possible before.

Expenses: Refreshments will be provided at all discussion sessions. Travel cost reimbursements will be considered and covered upon request.

What next / who to contact: To find out more about the Pulmonis project, please contact Uddhav Vaghela:

Euddhav.vaghela14@imperial.ac.uk / T: 07999412262

Participate in the myAirCoach research project investigating the use of home-monitoring and mobile health systems for asthma self-management

We would like to invite you to take part in a research project investigating the use of home-monitoring and mobile health (mHealth) systems for asthma self-management.

Asthma UK is working with a group of researchers to develop a new mHealth system designed specifically to help people with asthma to self-manage their condition.

Asthma is a variable lung condition whereby patients experience periods of controlled and uncontrolled asthma symptoms. Poor asthma control is associated with an increased risk of exacerbation, impaired quality of life, increased use of healthcare services and reduced productivity. Therefore, the ability to determine and to predict the level of asthma control is useful for patients and their healthcare teams, and may assist in the management of the condition.

There are now a variety of home monitoring and mobile health (mHealth) systems for patients with asthma. This research aims to determine the feasibility of using these systems and to establish whether they could be used, individually or in combination, to predict asthma control. The outcome of this research could be integrated into new mHealth systems that may assist patients to better manage their asthma in the future. We also hope to understand whether using a digital sensing, monitoring and feedback system in the home environment will improve the control of asthma.

Who can take part? 

We are looking to recruit adults who have asthma and take regular inhaled steroids. In total we require 30 participants, 15 based in London and 15 in Manchester.

What will I be asked to do? 

This research occurs alongside your normal asthma care plan. This means that you will continue to attend your normal GP and hospital appointments and will continue to take your medication as necessary and as determined by your usual healthcare team. In addition to your normal asthma care, we will ask you to attend a single hospital-based induction visit, where a member of the research team will discuss your medical history and conduct some routine tests. Following this, patients will be asked to monitor their asthma with a variety of mHealth and home-monitoring systems for a period of 3 months.

When will this study be recruiting? 

From June 2018.

Who is conducting the research? 

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under grant agreement no 643607 (myAirCoach website).

The project team is a multi-disciplinary group of specialists in asthma, computer modelling, health technology and patient involvement.

This particular research project is being run by Dr Stephen Fowler and Marcia Soares at the Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester and by Prof. Fan Chung and Dr Omar Usmani at the Royal Brompton Hospital, Imperial College of London.

Who has reviewed the study?

This research project has been reviewed by an independent group of people – a research ethics committee (REC) - to protect your rights, safety and well-being. This study was given a favourable review and has received ethical approval.

How will the study benefit people with asthma? By participating in this research you will learn more about different home-monitoring and mHealth systems that are currently available for patients with asthma and hopefully improve your asthma management. This project will also help us to design a new Health system for people with asthma, which could benefit the lives of millions of people in the future.

Expenses: We will provide patients with a reimbursement of £20 for their inducation visit and £100 at the completion of the study. 

How to get involved: To register your interest in taking part or if you would like to know anything else, please contact:

For Manchester: Marcia Soares
E: Marcia.Soares@manchester.ac.uk
T: 0771 663 1620

For London: Sally Meah
E: sally.meah@imperial.ac.uk
T: 0207 351 8051

Once the study team have received notification of your interest they will send you a participation information sheet and contact you via phone to discuss the details of the research in person.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Asthma UK

We need more parents of children with asthma to join our volunteers to work with us on a range of research projects.