California-based Modus Five has introduced a new multimedia asthma patient education software designed for adult and pediatric patients, parents, and others who come into contact with asthma sufferers. Developed with a group of board certified pediatricians and asthma educators from a Palo Alto, Calif, hospital group, the educational program teaches patients the basics of understanding their asthma, including symptoms and triggers; explains diagnostic methods, such as spirometry and peak expiratory flow rate; and describes treatment options, including long-term, quick relief, and dry powder. In addition, the interactive curriculum addresses special patient situations, such as infants with asthma, asthma during pregnancy, and asthma during surgery.
The development of the asthma program was a direct result of company president Gali Stein-Rosen’s personal experience. After her son was diagnosed with asthma, an asthma educator sat down with Stein-Rosen and her son to explain everything they needed to know about managing the disease and what to do when he had an attack. Six months later, when he had his first attack since diagnosis, Stein-Rosen and her son couldn’t remember what to do.
“We were confused by all the devices. It was really scary the first time,” she recalls.
With the experience, Stein-Rosen saw an opportunity to take her company’s expertise developing multimedia patient education software and apply it to asthma. The idea, she says, was to develop an easy-to-use and comprehensive program that can be used by anyone who has asthma or comes in contact with someone who does, including children, families, teachers, sports coaches, and babysitters. Moreover, the program can be used by asthma educators to refresh their skills or in a clinical setting to educate patients and parents.
The software, which is available on CD-ROM or as a Web-based application, allows users 24/7 access to all this information. According to Hagai Pettel, sales manager and application engineer at Modus Five, the goal of the software is to eliminate the need for repeated clinic visits or telephone calls from patients who don’t remember how to handle an aspect of their asthma. The program uses video featuring a respiratory therapist and text to educate viewers, and it also includes self-assessment modules.
The company, which has developed multimedia patient education software and Web sites for various patient situations, including childbirth, drug abuse, and central venous catheters, is currently developing a similar software on chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) that will mirror the asthma program’s format. Recently, the company also completed a sleep disorders program covering a range of conditions, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and parasomnias.