Dark skinned family, little daughter sitting on mother lap using smart phones and playing mobile games, credit: chomplearn, courtesy of Shutterstock
Asthma in children
According to NHS England, over 1 million children receive treatment for asthma in the UK. The UK also has one of the highest prevalence, emergency admission and death rates for childhood asthma in Europe, suggesting there are problems in healthcare for asthma and the way it is provided here. These problems are not only extremely difficult for families and patients, but also cost the NHS considerably as treatment is expensive. Preventative options are needed to help children with asthma and their families so that emergency hospital admission and mortality is greatly reduced.
Technology Enhanced integrAted asthMa care (TEAM-care)
Digital tools could enable better use of asthma medication and collect data to allow clinicians to provide enhanced care to children with asthma. To evaluate the potential impact of these technologies, a consortium between King’s College London, Queen Mary University and the University of Plymouth will evaluate a new digital pathway examining two commercial products, Wheezo and Propellor Health.
This £1.9m programme is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) i4i Challenge Awards and is called, ‘Technology Enhanced integrAted asthMa care (TEAM-care).’ It aims to set a gold standard for evidence-based, digital interventions to help children, families and healthcare professionals, control and reduce the risks of asthma.
The study
Dr Edward Meinert's team will lead the technology evaluation of this initiative, to test the new digital pathway approach, alongside two home-based apps, which help children and their carers take better care of their asthma between doctor visits to the doctor or nurse and to improve asthma care so that children can avoid needing emergency treatment.
Researchers will test the new way of providing care for children with asthma using the best test design – a trial – working closely with children, parents and carers to get it right. They will test how easy the apps are to use as well as the impact of the apps on day-to-day care, to help understand how things are going as early as possible, making improvements when necessary.
The technologies they will test are designed to: 1) improve symptom monitoring and 2) improve treatment monitoring and adherence, and the overall intervention is designed to:
  • prevent emergency care (the primary outcome) and other health service use
  • reduce associated NHS costs
  • reduce associated family stress
  • improve health and prevent deaths
  • improve school attendance and participation.
We hope this project will have a positive impact to the health and wellbeing of children with asthma and their families.