A small trial showed that adolescent patients with asthma were able to better keep track of their asthma plan with a cell-phone based system as opposed to a paper diary.

Benefits from the mobile technology were mostly concentrated in the participants with poorly controlled asthma at baseline.

“There were daily reminders to prompt the users, but no immediate feedback,” Tamara T. Perry, MD, told MedPage Today in an interview. “I think if we did something to incentivize, it would increase use over time.”

“We asked them to mail a paper diary into us at the end of each month for 6 months, and hardly anyone returned them — and only one participant mailed the diary all 6 months,” Perry said. “We go months between seeing patients. If they don’t bring a paper diary to the appointment, patients only remember the last 2 weeks of symptoms.”

The mobile app had a web portal with clinician access to the logs, peak flows, symptoms, medication use, etc., Perry added.

“The good thing about this is in the adolescents who really needed more timely interventions, there was demonstration that they improved with the use of the mobile app,” Mark Dykewicz, MD, of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, said in an interview with MedPage Today.

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