Unlike many diseases that impact human life for a shorter span and has a remedy, there are few that are incurable and they are the ones that changes life of a patient forever. Such is a disease – Asthma. A chronic disease, impacting the respiratory system of a patient’s body, resulting in inflammation of bronchial tubes, minimizing the scope of air flow. The feeling is unimaginable – Almost feels like being choked, when it happens. While there is no cure to Asthma as a disease, the possibility of treatment is more towards controlling the disease, majorly – through Precaution and Prevention.
Speaking of managing a patient’s life with Asthma, one needs to consider a panoramic coverage of care for the patient. Technologists have always been in a relentless pursuit of putting together a smarter technology each time that could make the life simpler for such patients and yet there is the immense scope of improvement in the management of Asthma through smart technology. Digital Health has been transforming ever since and has been expanding its reach with a cyclic coverage of treatment in the management of the disease. The accuracy of these testing, monitoring, and management devices are getting better with every new upgrade.
However, no matter what breakthroughs we made over the years in asthma management, the hands of care and the knowledge of managing the disease effectively has always remained with the doctor, following the regulatory compliances laid by the governing bodies. The effort was to make sure that the implementation of the knowledge and the delivery of the care be done under a prescribed guideline, for it to be more effective.
With the advent of mobile technologies and the ascent of Google, Bing and all the search engines that get online patients access to many of those medical health portals, that provide regulated content, community forums where practicing physicians and HCPs share their viewpoints and/or consult online for questions raised by patients. There is an abundance of regulated medical health data aggregators providing information that today works as a single-point reference for all the questions that an Asthma patient has. So, right from checking symptoms, monitoring Asthma triggering points for them, finding the best possible therapy to devices that can help them better is already known to them through some information channel or the other.
While the majority of the urban patient’s community now have access to all kind of information concerning Asthma, the million-dollar question is Would this lead to an effective Self-Care Asthma management? The answer to this question very much depends on the way the information is being provided. We should not forget that a patient would do anything to get relieved and can take desperate measures in adverse situations and with a half-baked knowledge towards asthma care, can prove to be detrimental. So, how do we make this work, in the best interest of the patient, where under any circumstance the patient would stand benefited.
A few days back I was discussing with my friend (an Asthma patient recently diagnosed) who mentioned about a product – an FDA registered Class 1 Device. This not only provides a Smart Inhaler device but also helps you with altars and a patient health data analysis of the data being captured by the smart inhaler, every time one uses it.
There are many other such devices which are making quite an impact to the life of an Asthma Patient. However, there stands an unanswered question, that keeps bothering me time and again. The devices and solutions are mostly around managing the disease from a prevention point of view and not from a total lifestyle support coverage perspective, where patient learning is involved right from checking symptoms to knowing the do’s and don’ts which work like a companion with connected care. The need of the hour is to have a solution that is intuitive in nature, based on the internet of things paradigm, with an ability communicate with various content sources through API interfaces and can be integrated with a wide array of smart monitoring and tracking devices – making it a smarter digital companion that can effectively manage the life of an Asthma patient.
While it can be conceived as an idea that follows a structured and a workflow-driven solution that can understand the state and condition of a patient and respond accurately, with the right content and instructional guideline for the Selfcare treatment of Asthma. We will continue to work on this idea. We promise to be back shortly with our Idea on Self-Care Asthma Management Solutions.