• by Douglas Maurer DO, MPH
February 21, 2017
Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in children and adults with a prevalence of over 8% in U.S. children and 7% in adults. This translates to over 7 million children in the U.S. who have asthma and over 26 million people total. In 2007, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released an Expert Panel Report-3 for the management of asthma. These guidelines are still in effect with minor updates over the years. More recent guidelines are available from the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). Both guidelines have similar recommendations including use of asthma action plans, for example.
Many providers struggle to get patients to adhere to asthma guidelines. In a busy practice, taking the time to educate patients on proper inhaler use and the importance of compliance with daily maintenance therapy can be challenging. Previously, we reviewed the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Asthma Care App and found it potentially useful for improving compliance with asthma guidelines. However, like many other AAP apps, Asthma Care had its shortcomings.
CoherentRx has launched their latest patient education app focused on asthma. The company has numerous patient education apps from physical therapy to breast health. Their new Asthma Patient Education app combines patient education materials from reputable groups including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the CDC, and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others. The medical app also includes a unique 3D anatomy feature that providers can make notes on and share with patients.
Let’s take a look at the CoherentRx Asthma Patient Education app via a patient scenario. You are seeing John, a 10-year-old male with moderate persistent asthma, in clinic with his mother. John recently had an asthma exacerbation, and it is clear to you that the family lacked an asthma action plan and John is unclear on how to use his inhaler. His mother also has many questions on how to decrease asthma triggers at home.
Evidence-based medicine
The medical app includes resources from reputable national and international groups such as the NHLBI and CDC. The resources are available in multiple languages and various media and cover evidence-based topics including proper inhaler use, allergen reduction, and asthma action plans.
What providers would benefit from this Medical App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, pulmonary — any provider who prescribes or manages patients with asthma.
• High-quality patient education materials from reputable sources
• Easy share function via email and text to patients
• Zygote 3D anatomy feature has lots of potential
• Available for Android
• Interface lacking in some ease-of-use functions
• Some concerns about patient privacy/data protection
• Requires membership to the CoherentRx system which is free but unclear how provider information may be used/shared
The CoherentRx medical app is onto something with their lineup of patient education apps. The quality of the education materials is outstanding and easy to share with patients. The resources in their asthma education app may very well keep patients out of the ER and hospital.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

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