screen views of a mobile app featuring lungs and inhalers

Using A Mobile App For Asthma Tracking

Today, mobile devices help people do all kinds of things, including managing their health. Some people are using applications (apps) on their smartphone, smartwatch, or other mobile devices to track certain diseases like asthma. Mobile apps can be helpful when it comes to tracking triggers, symptoms, and treatments.

Benefits of using a mobile app for asthma tracking

Using a mobile app for asthma tracking offers many benefits.

Mobile apps are typically easy to access and use. Many apps can be downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet for little to no cost. Adults and young people often carry mobile devices like these with them wherever they go. This means apps can be used just about anywhere, at any time.1,2

Most asthma apps contain several functions, which can result in more thorough tracking. A 2019 study found that people often use asthma apps for:1

The tracking features on mobile apps can help people stick to their action plan for managing asthma. Reminders can prompt people to take the right dose of drugs, including inhalers, at the right time. With important and timely data at hand, people can react quickly to avoid triggers like poor air quality.1

The data collected on apps also offers important insight for people and their doctors. People can note triggers and prevent asthma attacks when peak flow meters show drops in air coming from the lungs. Doctors can review all the data and then offer suggestions on the best course of treatment.1

Mobile apps can make asthma tracking easier, and thus, more likely. This can help people manage asthma. Keeping asthma symptoms under control can lead to improvements in overall health.1,2

How are apps being used to manage asthma?

The Asthma In America 2020 survey found that mobile apps are commonly used by people with asthma. The survey, held by Health Union (the parent company of Asthma.net), gathered information from 1,205 people currently diagnosed with asthma.

It found that 82 percent of respondents use mobile apps to manage their diagnosis. Nearly 20 percent of those people use mobile apps to track asthma triggers like allergies and weather. Respondents also shared that they use mobile apps to track their symptoms and to take note of things to discuss with their doctor.

Another common use of mobile apps for asthma tracking centered on drugs. About 10 percent of respondents receive mobile app reminders to take their medications. Another 10 percent receive mobile app reminders to refill their prescriptions, while 9 percent of respondents use an app to track how much of a drug they use and when.

The survey found that some respondents use mobile apps to process their thoughts and feelings about asthma. About 7 percent shared that they use them to talk about their health with other people with asthma. About 3 percent use mobile apps to journal, while about 2 percent use them for doctor’s appointments, research, and tracking the cost of inhalers.

What are the barriers to using an app?

Although mobile apps can help with asthma tracking, not everyone with asthma uses one. A 2020 study examined mobile app use in 366 people with asthma. About 75 percent of people in the study had used some kind of app on their mobile device.

While 33 percent of people had used a health/fitness app before, only 3 percent had used an app for asthma tracking.2

However, most people who participated in the study said they were open to using mobile apps for disease tracking. About 66 percent of people expressed an interest in asthma tracking apps. The interest was higher among teens at 80 percent, compared to 62 percent for adults.2

Several things may hold people back from using a mobile app for tracking. People may not know about existing asthma apps and how they can help with asthma tracking. Current apps may not have all the functions people with asthma need or want.1,2

How to find the right mobile app for you

A good asthma tracking app comes with many benefits that can improve life for people with asthma. To find the right mobile app, people can search online to see which ones exist and to read reviews of those apps. They can also ask a doctor or a friend with asthma to recommend one. Trying different mobile apps is a good way to determine which one works best.

Do you track your triggers, symptoms, or treatments with an app? Which one do you use? Share with us in the comments below!

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