By Rita Sembajwe, Health Informatics Specialist, BreathEasy Project Manager, RTI International.
As the BreathEasy project moves along, the time has come for the team to synthesize our mobile phone application findings related to asthma, anxiety and depression in order to compare them against each other and determine a baseline. Doing this allows us to improve or advance the baseline, instead of duplicating what already exists.
Both the Android and iPhone marketplaces already host some progressive applications. We are reviewing a handful of them and in the process acknowledging things like: user ratings; differences and similarities in technical and scientific features; user friendly architecture; and their target audience.The asthma applications range from: applications that track peaklfow readings with the help of a graph; electronic asthma journals that track an individual’s asthma symptoms and medication; and applications that do a combination of both. A majority of the depression applications use a set of questions or a depression scale, e.g. HDRS17, built-in to detect and track depression symptoms. All of the anxiety tracking applications in our selection were a combination of depression, or asthma tracking applications.
In their own way, all the applications promote innovate ways to track and control conditions, but so far the Asthma Journal is our favorite when it comes to choosing an application that inspires the BreathEasy application development process. It tracks an individual’s asthma symptoms and medication, and has the ability to automatically share them with clinicians and whoever else via Google Health. A similar application on iPhone, Asthma MD, also tracks and charts asthma symptoms and enables the transfer of data to clinicians.
It is also worth highlighting the asthma and anxiety application, TBDeluxe, developed by Kumquat Portable Apps on Android. It trains those who need to correct their breathing volume on how to breathe. It tracks an individual’s breathing and guides inhalation and exhalation allowing the oxygenation of organs and systems and in turn reducing symptoms of allergies, asthma, anxiety, stress, and panic attacks, among others.BreathEasy will expand on the baseline of the marketplace by developing an Android based, user friendly application that tracks patient’s symptoms of asthma, anxiety and depression, by capturing relevant observations of daily living (ODLs). Data collected will then be directly available to clinicians via a web dashboard. The target population of this application will be involved in the design and development of this project, through requirements gathering and testing. We think our user centered design approach will spell success. To hear more about this application…stay tuned!