Asthma Coach app launched to help Irish people manage their asthma

Ireland has the fourth-highest incidence of asthma in the world, and in response to this, the Asthma Society of Ireland has launched Asthma Coach, a new free app for iPhones and mobile website for all Smartphone devices aimed at helping people better manage their symptoms.

The app allows users to record and track their asthma symptoms, medication usage, and peak flow to help them control their condition. Users may also share the diary and a graph of their asthma activities with their healthcare professional if they wish.

One in 10 Irish people are affected by the inflammatory lung condition and at least one person a week dies from an asthma attack in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch of Asthma Coach, Sharon Cosgrove, CEO, Asthma Society, said, “Asthma is often not recognized as a critical condition. However, over 19,000 people attend A&E due to asthma each year. Adults with asthma miss an average of 12 days of work and children miss ten days of school. Asthma is a chronic disease which has a terrible effect on the lives of so many people. It’s essential for people with asthma to have an asthma management plan and to review it regularly with their healthcare professionals. The Asthma Coach will let them do this easily in a way that fits into their busy lifestyle.”

The free app, which was developed by interactive agency eighty-twenty, in consultation with healthcare professionals and asthma patients, can be used by anyone with asthma and can also be utilized by the parent of a child with asthma to help track their condition. There are over 741,000 smartphones in Ireland, with 40pc of people under 34 and 60pc of mums owning a smartphone. People with asthma and the parents of children with asthma play a fundamental role in managing their asthma on a daily basis. Asthma symptoms and the need for medications can change over time, and so the Asthma Coach allows for this to be tracked by the user or the parent.  Other functions include the ability to set up helpful reminders such as when to make an appointment with the GP, when to refill a prescription, and when to do a peak expiratory flow.n

Dr. Basil Elnazir, the chairperson of the Asthma Society Medical Committee, said, “We hope that the app will help young people to engage in managing their asthma. They form lifelong healthy habits in these years, so if they start to control their asthma now, this will help them throughout their lives. We can’t change whether people have asthma or not but we can contribute to improving their outcomes through the management of their condition. The app will help them to do this in partnership with their healthcare professional.”

The project was enabled by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Healthcare Ireland. The app also includes a pollen forecast from March-November, which is supported by Dyson.