More than one million young people with asthma will have the opportunity to manage their condition using a digital app, thanks to new NHS funding.
NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group (NEL CCG), Barts Health NHS Trust, Tiny Medical Apps, UCLPartners, and partners, have secured an NHS Digital Health Partnership Award to support asthma self-management for children and young people across the country.
The app – named the Digital Health Passport – helps young people take control of their health by improving their skills, knowledge and confidence to self-manage. Features include a symptom tracker, medication reminders, air quality alerts for pollen and pollution, and educational resources – personalised by condition, demographic group and region. With asthma being the most common long-term medical condition in children in the UK, affecting 1 in 11 young people, the app was co-produced with young people, parents, school nurses, asthma nurses and clinical specialists.
The app can connect with GP software, and there are plans to connect with other records such as the Personal Health Records so patients can manage their asthma prescriptions online and share health data with their clinical team.
Kath Evans, Children and Young People’s Clinical Lead for NEL CCG says: “Whilst this project is led by NEL CCG we’re really pleased this funding will mean increased support in asthma management for children and young people up and down the country. The focus on childhood asthma is needed and timely, with the UK having some of the worst outcomes from asthma for children and young people in Europe, including preventable deaths.
“Whilst the initial focus is on improved asthma outcomes, there are exciting opportunities to extend this digital approach to other long-term health conditions which will ensure children and young people are supported in true shared decision-making and active collaboration in their care.”
UCLPartners will provide the evaluation as they look towards providing a sustainable, cost-effective tool to support children and young people with asthma.
Sara Nelson, Programme lead for Children’s and Young People’s Transformation at NHS England and Improvement, and formerly Deputy Director of Transformation at HLP, said: “It’s hugely satisfying that the work we and our partners undertook in developing the Digital Health Passport and demonstrating its benefits has now been recognised in this way.”
As the only children’s and young people’s asthma self-management app approved by the NHS Apps library, the Digital Health Passport aims to provide a long-term step change in asthma self-management and remote monitoring, with an opportunity to improve outcomes for hundreds of thousands of children and young people.