142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Impact of a technology-driven asthma program on symptoms, control and self-management: The clinical perspective

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

David Van Sickle, PhD , Propeller Health, Madison, WI
Meredith Barrett, PhD , Propeller Health, San Francisco, CA
Justine Marcus, BA , Propeller Health, San Francisco, CA
Olivier Humblet, ScD , Propeller Health, San Francisco, CA
Ted Smith, PhD , Economic Growth and Innovation, Louisville Metro Government, Louisville, KY

Beginning in 2012, the City of Louisville partnered with Propeller Health to develop a community-based, data driven, asthma management program to improve asthma outcomes among city residents.


We aimed to determine the effect of the sensor-enabled, mobile health asthma program on individual-level asthma outcomes, including frequency of asthma rescue medication use, asthma-free days and control status.


Residents of the Louisville Metro area with physician-diagnosed asthma and a prescription for a short-acting beta agonist were enrolled at participating retail pharmacies, private clinics and community asthma-education events. Participants received a small electronic inhaler sensor to track the frequency of rescue medication inhaler use. After an initial month-long control period, participants received 12 months of access to smartphone and web-based applications that provided education and support based on national guidelines and standards of care.


The proportion of participants with an asthma-free day increased significantly over the course of the program. Results from the logistic mixed model regression show that the proportion with an asthma-free day in the first month (control period) was significantly different from all subsequent months (p<0.01). The proportion considered well controlled increased by 33% between intake and program completion. Improved adherence to clinical guidelines also showed improvement; 57% of participants reported having an asthma action plan at study end, compared to only 41% at intake.  


Participation in the program was associated with fewer asthma symptoms, improved control and better self-management over the year long study period.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe a viable application of mobile health and sensor-collected data to address asthma management. Evaluate improvements in clinical asthma outcomes as a result of the mobile health program. Evaluate improvements in guidance-based asthma care made by this mobile health program.

Keyword(s): Asthma, Chronic Disease Management and Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: David Van Sickle, PhD, is the co-founder and CEO of Propeller Health. Previously, Van Sickle was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. From 2004-2006, he was an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he was assigned to the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Propeller Health Chronic Respiratory Disease Employment (includes retainer) and Stock Ownership

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.