Asthma management and control from a mobile phone

11 Mar 2015

Published by European Commission on Thursday, 12/02/2015

European researchers have been awarded over €4.5 Million to create a user-friendly tool for asthmatic patients to monitor and self-control their disease.

The name of the project, myAirCoach, stands for analysis, modelling and sensing of both physiological and environmental factors for the customized and predictive self-management of Asthma, and seeks to merge mobile health potential to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare with the daily needs of chronic asthma patients.

Need for customized asthma treatment

"Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in Europe, but if affects each patient differently", says Giuseppe De Carlo of the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA), one of the partners of the project. "The place where patients live and work, the weather and season, age and even emotions (for example work-related stress) impact the disease symptoms."

De Carlo: "Asthma changes constantly, along with the patient’ life, making it compulsory to adjust treatments accordingly. This makes every case unique, even for a single patient and on a day to day basis, requiring a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs."

A personalized asthma monitoring system

According to the EFA, "mobile devices can today support medical and public health practice if the right apps are in place. mHealth can significantly contribute to patients’ empowerment, enabling them to manage their health more actively and to live more independently. It can also support healthcare professionals in treating patients more efficiently as mobile apps can track adherence to treatment and encourage healthy lifestyles."

Funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation framework programme, myAirCoach aims to develop a patient-friendly, sensor-based tool to collect clinical, environmental and behavioural data relating to the patient.

These measurements will serve as the basis for a digital model that will enable the medical and research community to make accurate predictions of the patient’s disease progression.

"The patient will receive immediate feedback on how to manage his/her condition as well, especially when facing a higher risk of asthma aggravation, enabling patients to manage their health to avoid asthma symptoms", says the EFA.

The myAirCoach project will run for three consecutive years and involves research centres, academic organisations, patient organisations and private medical enterprises from across Europe, to bring various perspectives on asthma self-management to the project.