Nine months into a pan-European venture to launch an app that will help patients with their asthma management, inform doctors and possibly feed into wider research on breathing difficulties, Jenny Sims finds out how myAirCoach is progressing
A lot rests on the outcome of the EU-funded €4.5million myAirCoach research project, in which mHealth tools are being developed to help people affected by asthma, allergy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) manage their own care. If successful, it could benefit more than 30 million people in the EU who have asthma. But it’s also hoped that the system might provide a template for the widespread adoption of sensor-based, self-management systems across the spectrum of respiratory diseases.
myAirCoach sensors will collect clinical, environmental and behavioural data to help improve the patient’s asthma management abilities. Measurements taken will include pollution and pollen levels, tracking when and where patients take their medication, and lung function. The aim is that myAirCoach will be able to give personalised advice based on a patient’s day-to-day activities and symptoms.
Launched in January 2015, the three-year, pan-European project is funded by an EU Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 grant and involves an impressive consortium of research centres, academic institutions, private medical enterprises and patients’ organisations in six different countries: the UK, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium. Project coordinator, Dr Konstantinos Votis from the Greek Information Technologies Institute says: ‘The project’s vision is to provide a unified solution that will empower patients in their asthma management and enable doctors to help them more effectively and efficiently.’
‘More than 30 million people in the EU have asthma’
Dr Votis outlined the myAirCoach project in a presentation to the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM) congress in Munich, recently. His key points were:
Dr Votis concluded: ‘A fundamental part of the project is the integration of the above functionalities with a modern, easy and intuitive mobile app that will allow patients and doctors to assess the system during their everyday lives.’
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