Putting asthma care in patient’s hands
Australia has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world.1 The 2017-18 National Health Survey reports that approximately 2.7 million Australians are living with asthma, or about one in every nine people.2
Accurately measuring effective asthma control remains challenging in the community setting. Many patients underestimate the severity of their asthma, which results in poor symptom control, and an increased risk of acute asthma flares.3
Assessing asthma control in children has its own set of challenges. Wheeze is one of the key asthma symptoms in children, yet it can be difficult to differentiate wheeze from normal airway sounds in children.4 In addition, lung function testing using spirometry is generally not feasible in young children.4
This is where digital technology can contribute to a patient’s ability to self-manage their – or their children’s – condition. wheezo is an eHealth platform that uses a handheld device and app to measure, record and monitor asthma symptoms. The wheezo device is a pulmonary sound detector that utilises a digital microphone to acquire, amplify, filter, and record the breath sounds over a total of 30 seconds. The breath sounds are transferred to a smartphone app via Bluetooth for detection and quantification of wheeze, expressed as a wheeze rate. The engaging app also allows users to track other important asthma symptoms, triggers, medication usage, localised weather conditions and, importantly, document their personal Asthma Action Plan.
The device and app make up a secure, cloud-based mobile health platform that provides patients, parents, carers and clinicians with timely access to a range of different aspects of asthma care. Pharmacists can use the data collected in wheezo to build a clearer picture of their patient’s asthma, and better engage in their management. It presents an innovative and modern approach to the way we interact with our patients using technology.
wheezo has recently updated its price to make it more accessible for patients than ever. Where previously the recommended price was $299, wheezo now has a recommended retail price of $99.50. The app has a monthly subscription of $9.99 per month, with 12-month packages also available. It is available from wholesalers or via your Cipla sales team. You can also arrange a demonstration of the device with a wheezo nursing team member. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
To learn more about the wheezo device and other digital solutions for asthma management, Guild Learning and Development have a free, CPD-accredited module titled Extending asthma management using digital technology. The course is available via GuildEd.
- Asthma Australia. About asthma [acceseed 01/12/2020]. Available from: https://asthma.org.au/about-asthma/
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Asthma: Australian Government; 2019 [accessed 06/07/2020]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/asthma/contents/asthma
- Kritikos V, Price D, Papi A, Infantino A, Stallberg B, Ryan D, et al. A multinational observational study identifying primary care patients at risk of overestimation of asthma control. NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2019;29(1):43.
- National Asthma Council. Australian Asthma Handbook v2 2020 [accessed 01/12/2020]. Available from: https://www.asthmahandbook.org.au