NewsYour Health Matters


Study proves phone app helps asthma patients

9-year-old Elajah Smithwick-Bey tries the Emocha app
Posted at 4:30 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 17:41:30-05

BALTIMORE — Right now, we're living in a virtual age, relying on technology but for some it's not just about being connected, it's a matter of their health.

Earlier this year we introduced you to a company called Emocha, they created an app to help children with asthma.

Emocha partnered with Lifebridge Health to see if this app was effective.

Each patient records themselves using their inhaler every day, the video is sent to a nurse for review who then offers feedback.

"Specifically with asthma, it's really important to take your medication but also to take it correctly," said Sebastian Seiguer, the CEO of Emocha. He added, "there's been a ton of evidence that incorrect inhaler user results in emergency room visits."

That's how they chose their study group. Lifebridge offered asthma patients who recently had ER visits to try out the Emocha app.

Elajah Smithwick-Bey, 9, was one of them. She said, "it’s easier for me to remember to do it when I have the app."

The study focused on showing that directly observed therapy can be done remotely.

"In health care you need evidence in order to take a great idea and prove that it actually has benefit for children. In some cases you have to prove it’s even feasible," said Seiguer.

Studies have already shown directly observed therapy is successful for children with asthma, specifically with nurses observing students in school. Something that can't be done now because of the pandemic.

This study focuses on the virtual aspect, checking in remotely and each party, the patient and nurse, signing in at different times.

"What we've proven in this study is that directly observed therapy can be done remotely and efficiently," said Seiguer. He added, "this study shows you can deliver directly observed therapy in an efficient way that doesn’t burden the health care system and takes about a minute for the patient."

The findings are under final review but preliminary results show the study was a success.