Monday, 26th November 2012– Ireland has the fourth highest incidence of asthma in the world with approximately 470,000 people living with asthma, of which 60% (282,000 people) do not have their symptoms controlled. This chronic disease is costing the country €533 million yet this could be improved with better adherence to asthma management guidelines. 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 is availabe to download from the Apple App Store
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.
Dr Basil Elnazir, Chairperson of the Asthma Society Medical Committee, said, “We hope that the app will help young people to engage in managing their own asthma. They form lifelong health 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 help to change their outcomes through management of their condition. The app will help them to do this in partnership with their healthcare professional.’
Gordon Hayden, presenter on Spin 103.8 and TV3, is participating in the Asthma Coach campaign. He was diagnosed with asthma as a child and carries his inhaler with him everywhere. Speaking at the launch of the app, he said, “I have already trialed the app and it’s given me a great way to keep on top of what my asthma triggers are and what medications I’m taking. I’m always on the go and don’t like to feel like my asthma is holding me back from anything. The app fits in with my life and helps me keep on top of my asthma instead of it getting on top of me.”
The Asthma Coach also provides users videos on how to correctly use inhalers and other devices, what to do in an emergency and how to test your peak flow.