emocha Health and LifeBridge Health Publish Pediatric Asthma Study Demonstrating Rapid Inhaler Improvement

BALTIMORE, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Evaluation of a new pediatric asthma pilot program, published in the Journal of Asthma, showed that the mean rate of errors in asthma inhaler technique in enrolled patients fell from 80% to less than 20 % in four weeks. The study was authored by emocha Health, the nation’s leading digital adherence program, in partnership with LifeBridge Health, a Maryland nonprofit health system.

When assessing the program’s ability to improve patient health outcomes, the study found that insufficient breath holding was the most common technique error and forgetfulness the most common problem with adherence. Immediate improvement in observed inhaler errors occurred within the first week of the program. Researchers also found that 80% of pediatric asthmatics used their inhalers every day.

The study, conducted in January and February 2020 at the start of the pandemic, was designed to measure the feasibility of supporting pediatric asthmatics in Baltimore through digital instruction and feedback. The median age of the study participants was 11 years and 90% of the participating children were covered by Medicaid. Eligible patients were enrolled in the program by LifeBridge Health physicians and were asked to submit daily check-in videos of themselves taking their prescription inhalers through the emocha Health mobile application. Members of the emocha care team watched these videos and then came into direct contact with the participants to improve inhalation technique and support patients and their families/carers during treatment.

Childhood asthma is a devastating problem in Baltimore, where 20% of children have an asthma diagnosis — twice the national average.1 In addition, 88% of pediatric asthma-related hospitalizations in Baltimore are from black children, which is even more disproportionate. are affected by uncontrolled asthma

“Incorrect inhalation technique often leads to poor asthma control and frequent emergency room visits,” said lead researcher Scott Krugman, MD, vice president of pediatrics at Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital in Sinai, part of the LifeBridge Health system. “Inhaled medication is the cornerstone of asthma management, so we are pleased that in this study we addressed more than 240 video-observed inhalation technique problems for pediatric asthma patients and efficiently improved adherence through direct interaction with healthcare team members while using video-based therapy. Direct Observed Therapy (DOT) enabled.”

The study also illustrates how digital tools, such as video-enabled DOT and two-way chat, combined with human involvement, provide cost-effective, scalable, and engaging tools for healthcare providers to help patients manage chronic disease. Not only were emocha care team members and LifeBridge providers able to intervene and remedy poor medication delivery, but they were also able to work directly with participants to build adherence and self-management skills to further patient health. improve.

Participants and their carers were also generally positive about the program. The program had an enrollment rate of 81%. The app was considered user-friendly and asynchronous videos were seamlessly integrated into regular activities. Kids were generally excited to participate, and more than 800 videos were sent via emocha’s mobile app during the pilot—most videos initially showed at least one technique issue, each of which was resolved in less than 18 hours by emocha’s clinical adherence team. were addressed.

Patients who participated in the intervention showed significant improvements in the management of asthma, demonstrating the efficacy of DOT using a digital adherence program in combination with human intervention. The study also noted the positive impact that could result from using this approach in rural, low-income asthma patients who may not have easy access to health specialists and frequent in-person appointments.

“The status quo for children with uncontrolled asthma in cities like Baltimore is not acceptable, especially when solutions are available,” said Sebastian Seiguer, CEO of emocha Health. “Using highly engaging DOT powered by video technology is one such solution. Children showed significant improvement in inhalation technique within weeks – potentially reducing hospital admissions and ED visits and increasing productivity for patients and their families/carers. emocha forward to expanding this program to other communities with high rates of uncontrolled asthma.”

About emocha Health
emocha tackles one of the biggest unresolved problems in health care: non-adherence. emocha’s Digital Medication Adherence Program enables patients to properly take any dose of medication using video technology and scalable human involvement. emocha works with health plans, health systems, employers and health departments across the country to radically improve adherence to patients with diabetes, asthma, tuberculosis and other chronic and infectious diseases.

About LifeBridge Health
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest and most comprehensive health service providers in Maryland. LifeBridge Health includes Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Grace Medical Center and related subsidiaries and affiliates. For more information, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org

1 asthma. (2019, January 04). The City of Baltimore Health Department. Retrieved on April 15, 2021 from https://health.baltimorecity.gov/node/454.
2 LaFave, Sarah. (2020, October). The uneven burden of pediatric asthma : a call for an equity-based, multimodal public health approach to asthma in Baltimore. Abel Foundation. https://abell.org/sites/default/les/les/2020_Abell_pediatric%20 asthma_FINAL-web%20(dr).pdf.

SOURCE emocha Health

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