A time-saving diagnostic tool for asthma and other pulmonary diseases

An asthma-checking app is on the way

So says Anna Carleborg, research nurse at Karolinska Institutet, who is conducting a study to evaluate the tool on patients and healthcare staff. The app is called Asthmatuner Diagnosis and was developed by a team led by Henrik Ljungberg and Björn Nordlund.

Together with the small, handy Bluetooth-connected lung function measurement tool, the app can replace the current system. At present, patients get a clumsy, analogue PEF-meter and a diary. Six times a day for five weeks, the patient blows into the meter and notes the result down in the diary. This generates a large quantity of data that healthcare staff then have to manually convert into graphs to draw diagnostic conclusions.

Faster results and deeper understanding

“The app makes it much easier. It gives you reminders and asks questions about the symptoms experienced by the patient. That is important, as asthma is a disease in which the symptoms can vary a great deal. Our solution not only provides quicker results, but also a deeper understanding of how the individual is feeling”, says Anna Carleborg.

A study has been launched together with the occupational and environmental medicine organisation Arbets- och miljömedicin Syd. Twenty patients are being monitored – half of them with the traditional equipment and half with the Spirotuner:

“We measure time spent, register compliance in lung function and gather user evaluations from both patients and healthcare staff, for each of the two methods.”

Internationally scalable

The aim is to make the process more efficient for both patients and healthcare staff. There is no competitor and, considering that asthma is a chronic disease that affects around ten per cent of the population, there are major savings to be made by reducing handling time and achieving a system that provides more precise information on the patient’s lung function and symptoms.

“In addition, the product is internationally scalable. The only requirement is language updates, so that it can be used in any country. In the long term, it will be possible to build on the app to add functions – we are increasingly moving towards digitised healthcare. Our goal is to become world-leading in digital systems for diagnostics, inhalation technology and self-care for respiratory tract diseases.”

Need to fund the launch

Anna Carleborg expects the team’s company, Medituner, to be able to launch the app during the second half of 2018.

“So far, Swelife has been a great support to us, both with funding and with coaching and help with contacts. Now during the winter we are trying to get money in to enable us to progress with the technical development and the commercial launch of the product.”

Updated: 11 December 2017

Text: Jörgen Olsson

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