Societal Impact Award – supported by UKRI

University: University of Suffolk

Associate:  Thomas Andrews

Funding: Innovate UK and AHRC

Project: Evolutionary augmented reality app for children with asthma 

Project/background: Asthma affects 5.4 million people in the UK, of which 1.1 million are children (Asthma UK, 2017) and it is one of the leading causes for paediatric hospital admissions, costing the NHS up to £1.1 billion per year treating the condition via emergency admissions, GP appointments and medicines.  Part of this cost can be down to poor management of the condition. 

From the KTPs outset, the key objective of MySpira was to provide better education to children around positive asthma inhaler usage. With the assistance of The University of Suffolk and numerous NHS asthma specialists, My Spira has made a significant social impact, potentially saving lives now and into the future.

The solution: The initial proposal aimed to address incorrect inhaler use via the development of a medically approved augmented reality healthcare tool to engage the user with the learning material. 

MySpira is a fun and unique way to provide key learnings to children, which has been backed up by a study that was conducted in collaboration with the University of Suffolk.

The impact: Since its launch in April 2019, MySpira has 

  • Been downloaded many hundreds of times in the UK. 
  • Gained the support of Allergy UK, Asthma UK along with the NHS and notable Health Ministers. The app has been featured on the BBC News, ITV news, received over 20x press articles and was featured on BBC Click in March 2020. 
  • Been adopted and promoted heavily by Suffolk Health as a key campaign aimed directly at its population. The app has been made available FREE to EVERY child in the county and promoted extensively in every GP surgery and school in the region. 

The application has also been involved in a research study involving a cohort of 96 children with the childrenn using MySpira showing an improvement in learning outcomes compared to traditional teaching methods.

“The KTP has made a significant difference to the lives of young asthmatics across the country, by providing the support needed to learn about their condition and improve their asthma management.” Peter Brady, Orbital Media


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