Assist Me With Inhalers app has tremendous potential to improve Asthma treatment for patients

Purpose of the App Review:

1) How can this app help my patients use their breathing treatment inhalers?
2) What tools does the app include to increase patient compliance?

Introduction:

Medication compliance is a big issue for our patients.

You can take a horse to water but you can’t make them drink…or in this case, puff.

Assist Me With Inhalers is a patient centered app that instructs patients on how to use their inhaler and it will even set a reminder for them to take scheduled treatments.

Assist Me was developed by Use Inhalers. This is an organization dedicated to providing audio-visual instruction for use of inhalers for patients online and through their smartphone applications. This app is very similar to another inhaler app called ‘Assist Me with Inhalers’ which iMedicalApps recently reviewed here.

User Interface:

The app has 11 types of inhalers that it goes over. These types include: MDI – closed and open mouthed, MDI spacer, Aerolizer, autohaler, diskus, flexhaler, twisthaler, handihaler, respimat and neohaler.

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When a user determines which inhaler they would like to use, they will be walked through a step by step process. This process includes an audio and visual component to help them understand how to appropriately use their inhaler.

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For steps that take a certain amount of time, there is a timer on the top right corner. When the time is up, it will advance to the next step.

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The app tells you when you are done and when your next dose will be. Additionally, they will even give you a $1 Amazon gift card for filling out a very short survey.

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There is a helpful Settings tool that lets the user switch inhalers, set the number of puffs and the frequency of treatment.

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Furthermore, the app includes a dosage alarm. This feature will set an alarm for the first dose of the day. Unfortunately, for patients who are scheduled to have multiple treatments in the day, it will not set multiple alarms.

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Price:

  • Free

Likes:

  • Includes most popular inhalers
  • Very easy to follow step-by-step instructions
  • The alarm is helpful to remind patients to take their scheduled puff

Dislikes:

  • Would be nice if the app also included ER precautions for these patients
  • The voice narrating the steps is a computer generated one – it would have been much more enjoyable (and less creepy) if they took the extra step to have a regular person narrate

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app:

  • PCPs
  • Allergy/Immunologists
  • Pulmonologists

Patients that would benefit from this app:

  • Asthmatics
  • Patients with allergies
  • COPD/emphysema/chronic bronchitis patients

Conclusion:

  • Assist Me With Inhalers is a free patient centered app that teaches the user how to appropriately use their inhaler
  • There are 11 types of inhalers included in the app
  • Includes easy step-by-step instructions that are narrated instruct your patient how to take a dose
  • The app also includes an alarm tool to remind the user to take their scheduled dose
  • It would have been very helpful if the developers included symptoms that necessitate going to your doctor, visiting the ER, or using a rescue inhaler
  • Excellent for any patients who needs breathing treatments

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

Rating:
Overall: 4.75/5 Stars
User Interface:  5/5 Stars. Simple app. Easy to use.
Multimedia Coverage: 4/5 Stars. The videos were excellent but the voice narrating the steps was very electronic and a little creepy
Price: 5/5 Stars. Free.
Real World Applicability: 5/5 Stars. This app will be very useful for all patients who require an inhaler.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad (compatible), iPod Touch (3rd generation and later)
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later

Author:

Tejas Ozarkar

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