This new app is helping young asthma sufferers, and their families, with support at home

A new asthma app is being trialled at Sheffield Children’s Hospital to help children manage their severe asthma.

By Sally Burton
Tuesday, 13 August, 2019, 13:37
Children with severe asthma are being helped by technology

The trial is using the newly developed Asthma+me app to help patient and parents better manage severe asthma when not at the hospital.

This app allows the patient and family to input details about their asthma and link their inhalers.

Information is collected in the app then it helps educate both the child and family.

It can automatically warn them when an asthma attack is about to happen.

With enough advanced warning, the hope is that families can act sooner and avoid visits to hospital.

Professor Heather Elphick, paediatric respiratory consultant at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, leads this area of research.

She identified a need for technology to support children aged six to 12 and has been collaborating with Aseptika over two years.

Heather said: “The app can help families further understand when an asthma attack may happen, monitor their child’s asthma consistently and perhaps prevent trips to hospital in the future.

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“It’s a good way to complement the care received from us here at Sheffield Children’s and I’m looking forward to seeing where technology can take us next.”

Kevin Auton, managing director of Aseptika, in partnership with Sheffield Children’s in developing the app, said: “Asthma is still the most common medical condition for children and young people in the UK, and is the number one reason for urgent admissions to hospital in England.

“There are still a small number of avoidable deaths in children and young people from asthma every year, meaning the UK has the third highest risk of death from childhood asthma in developed countries.

“We created this app with the team at Sheffield Children’s to help the whole family better cope with their child’s asthma.

“Though symptoms are under control after support from their GP or hospital consultant, families still feel they need support at home.

“The app we’ve created can hopefully decrease the amount of appointments needed: children can spend more time at school or playing with the knowledge that their asthma is being managed.”

Eight-year-old Callum, a patient at Sheffield Children’s, has severe asthma and visits Sheffield Children’s Hospital every few months to see a specialist paediatrician.

Callum’s mum Jacqueline said: “The technology has really helped us as a family to help Callum manage his asthma.

“We know when we need to give Callum extra support and we understand how we can help him. It’s brilliant; I’d recommend it to anybody.”