The result of an Innovate UK/AHRC funded KTP between Stowmarket-based Orbital Innovations and the University of Suffolk, My Spira is a pioneering, metered dose inhaler training app for children with asthma. It uses the latest augmented reality (AR) technology, in combination with game play, to help improve inhaler technique and reduce the likelihood of serious or fatal asthma attacks occurring in children. The company is now offering free downloads of MySpira for the next year to aid children’s self-care of asthma.
Research (1) suggests that 97% of children misuse their inhaler, so initiatives to help improve correct use could have a real impact. In a study (2) of 96 children aged 6 – 13, a steady increase of information recall was observed with the MySpira app, over traditional asthma / inhaler education methods, such as leaflets and videos. Specifically, MySpira demonstrated an overall score that was 26% better than videos and 70% better than leaflets.
Peter Brady, CEO of Orbital Innovations, comments, ‘We are passionate about harnessing
digital technology to make self-care easier to adopt. Now, more than ever, it is important to
look after our own health, especially when it comes to respiratory conditions such as
asthma. That’s why we have decided to offer MySpira at no cost for the next 12 months.
Making this tool freely available will ensure children have aids for their inhaler use, as well
as helping to improve technique, compliance, and ultimately result in fewer serious or fatal
asthma attacks. This will also help provide even more vital support at a time when routine
nurse and doctors’ appointments are being held virtually or have been cancelled.’
Supporting this free initiative, Paul Brown, CEO of Suffolk Primary Care, comments, ‘Over the
winter, this valuable resource was rolled out across Suffolk health care and education
settings, promoted via local hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacies and primary schools. Used
alongside a child’s existing asthma care plan, it has helped children – and their parents and
siblings – to understand asthma better. This is a positive step for health services, because
we know, from research, that where proper inhaler training programmes have been put in
place, emergency admissions due to asthma had reduced by 50%, and deaths by 75%. 3 .’
MySpira supplements a child’s ongoing asthma care plan. Refresh training should take
place when required according to a child’s asthma plan, or annually.
MySpira is available to download from the App Store and Google Play for free until 1 st April
2021. After this period, it will be priced at 99p. For more information, visit myspira.com
1 Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (30 April 2019)
2 University of Suffolk study abstract details – 96 children aged 6-13, led by Dr Suha Al-Naimi, May 2019. Statistics are quoted allowing for standard error. Full study due to be published in September 2019.
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