Central Ohio Doctors Develop App To Combat Asthma

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A new smart phone app can tell a child with asthma "it's time to take your medicine."

Dr. David Stukus and Nabeel Farooqui with Nationwide Children's Hospital are the brains behind it.

“You know, I think it was my four year old son. I think he learned to use my iPhone even before he learned to talk, and that's what the Aha Moment was for me,” said Farooqui.

The idea was to make managing asthma fingertip easy for this high tech generation of kids and teens. The app has patients input their medications and triggers like dust mites or pollen. It can tell them what their status is - green for good or red for emergency.

“If they start to have symptoms they can input symptoms into the app, the app will activate their personal asthma action plan, guide them through treatment, tell them what to do next,” explained Stukus.

Fifteen-year-old Austin Leffel, who's had a couple asthma attacks, has his own name for the app.

“Health in your hand,” he says.

Its daily reminders keep him on track with his asthma medication.

“Before I slacked - took it maybe once in an evening another day in the morning.”

Austin was part of a pilot program with 20 other kids.

The findings – 80 percent of the children in the study interacted with the app multiple times a day, and three quarters of them learned new ways to avoid their asthma triggers.

Now, the doctors are working on a big launch of the app and a study to see if it can reduce ER visits.