About our study
Background to this study, details of what this study entails and who leads it.
Asthma self-management with an action plan leads to better day to day control of asthma symptoms, less time off work or school and also reduces the risk of an asthma attack.
What we know
From our previous study, we know that patients want an intelligent system to capture their peak flows, environmental factors and asthma symptoms without having to actively enter these data themselves. They also real-time advice to support their self-management decisions.
Emerging technologies, such as smart inhalers, and smart gadgets that connect to the internet to auto collect and transfer data, can support you to manage your asthma. When these emerging technologies work together to help people to manage asthma, we called them ‘connected asthma’ systems.
We want to explore how patients and their clinicians use and adopt a ‘connected asthma’ app in a real life setting.
We want to recruit 10 people with asthma to try out our prototype app for a month and take part in one-hour interviews before and after the trial.
We want to observe your usage pattern, collect feedback and refine an intelligent system to fulfil those needs.
The interviews will be arranged by phone or video-call (unless the coronavirus social distancing restrictions have been lifted) at a time that is convenient to you.
We will provide the smart devices and app for you to use.
For full details: please read our patient information sheet:
Frequently asked questions
Professor Hilary Pinnock will lead the study, Dr Io Hui is the co-lead of this project, supported by Emeritus Professor Brian McKinstry
Tactuum is our technology partner, they help us to build the app, manage the app database and make it available for you to use.
The system is the A4A+ connected asthma app which connects with three smart devices (smart inhaler, smart peak flow meter and smart activity tracker). The devices can transfer the numbers of puffs that you have taken from your current inhaler, your peak flow, sleep pattern, exercise and exercise path to the app.
Using the app, you can track and understand your asthma and capture useful data to help you manage your asthma. It can store the information captured from the smart devices. You can also make logs about your asthma manually on the app. You can share this information with your doctor or nurse. The app includes an action plan which your doctor or nurse can help you fill in. Other features include links to the latest news about asthma, and a medication reminder. We hope also to provide quick links to the public outdoor environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity and particulate matter(PM) level). As an add-on feature for COVID-19, you will be able to manually enter your body temperature on the app.
All data you enter in the app including your log data, name and email address will be stored in the app database, hosted by the Tactuum Ltd. Your name and email address will be used to share the summary report to your GP/Asthma nurse. The log data will help us to understand your usage pattern and inform our discussions during the interview. Tactuum will manage the database securely, and comply with GDPR.
The app does not recommend or advise you to do or change anything. If you have asthma symptoms it will suggest that you look at your action plan and follow the instructions from your clinicians. The app does not provide you with a communication channel with your clinicians, so you cannot rely on the app in case of emergency or if your asthma get worse. If you have any concerns or issues with your health, you must contact your health professionals.
There are no clinicians monitoring your asthma readings. You are responsible for getting advice or help if your asthma deteriorates.
The quantity of data used by the app is very small and is unlikely to have a significant effect on your data plan. We will provide a data voucher if you are worried that the data usage that may affect your current data plan or do not have a data plan on your phone.
We will provide you the FindAIR smart inhaler sensor, Polar Ignite, Smart Peak Flow meter OR MIR Smartone peak flow meter. You will be given the Smart Peak Flow meter or Smartone peak flow meter randomly.
No, you do not need to return the devices after the study. However, our app service will be stopped after the study. You can keep using the smart devices with the apps developed by the individual companies. For the Findair smart inhaler, you will be able to use the device with their app until the sensor built-in battery has used up (that’s usually around 11 months).
No, we provide the devices to you for the research study. Therefore, the device companies do not provide product warranties on the use of devices.
Yes, we welcome and encourage you to take part in our study with an existing device from FindAIR, Polar, Smart peak flow meter and Smart one. Please contact us and we will check if your device model can be connected to our platform.
No, we want to have feedback from a wide range of people. We hope to hear from people who know/don’t know, like/don’t like technology.