Pioneering asthma app embraced by local NHS CCGs

Award-winning augmented reality app, MySpira, created in East Anglia, has been adopted by five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Essex

Five CCGs in Essex have signed up to MySpira, a revolutionary augmented reality (AR) asthma training app created by Stowmarket-based Orbital Global.

According to research, 97% of children misuse their inhaler.[i]Another study has also shown that where proper inhaler training programmes have been put in place, emergency admissions have been reduced by 50% and asthma deaths by 75%[ii]. MySpira aims to substantially improve the training of correct inhaler technique, using a combination of augmented reality and game play – ultimately helping to reduce the likelihood of serious or fatal asthma attacks occurring in children.

The app is free to download, with a paywall after the first two modules. NHS Thurrock CCG, NHS Southend CCG, NHS Mid Essex CCG, NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG, and NHS Basildon & Brentwood CCG can now equip their healthcare professionals with codes for patients to redeem the complete version of the app. Designed to be used without GP intervention, the full app includes a further six key learning stages, a personalised printable asthma plan and a bonus game.

Robust research[iii]  undertaken by University of Suffolk found that MySpira outperformed other learning materials, including leaflets and videos, specifically in terms of enjoyment and learning outcomes. The improvement in the knowledge gained reached a statistically significant difference in the age group between 6-9 years.

Dr Sooraj Natarajan, GP Clinical Lead for the Mid and South Essex Children and Young Peoples Growing Well Board, comments: “It is very important that children with asthma have an asthma review with their asthma nurse or their GP at least once a year. As well as talking about their asthma and symptoms, the reviews are an opportunity to make sure they are using their asthma inhalers correctly. The beauty of the MySpira app is that we can introduce it to children at their asthma review and they can then download it at home to learn and practice their inhaler technique, resulting in better control of asthma and hence fewer serious or fatal attacks.”

Hayden Allen-Vercoe, COO of Orbital Global, creators of MySpira, comments, ‘Utilising cutting edge technology, the MySpira app teaches children vital skills to help manage their asthma condition in a fun and engaging way – perfect for the generation of children growing up in today’s digital world. Used alongside a child’s existing asthma care plan, the app is a valuable resource which helps the whole family to understand asthma better and know what to do should an attack occur.’

Supported by healthcare experts, including Dr. Simon Rudland and asthma nurse, Karyn McBride, the app was developed by innovative digital specialists, Orbital Global in conjunction with University of Suffolk via a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. Refresh training should take place when required according to a child’s asthma plan, or annually.

[i] Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (30 April 2019)



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