Pennsylvania-based Geisinger has teamed with biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of asthma technology products that integrate with electronic health records to enable patients and providers to co-manage the disease between office visits.

“Asthma symptoms can be unpredictable, and breathing issues don’t always occur in the doctor’s office—a tool to help patients and physicians stay connected and share information in real time is what connected health is all about,” says Tosh Butt, vice president of respiratory at AstraZeneca.

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According to Butt, the goal of the AstraZeneca-Geisinger collaboration is to “arm patients and physicians with digital tools with the intention of speeding diagnosis and treatment decisions.”

A real-time, web-based app called the Provider Asthma Management Assistant is designed to combine EHR and patient-reported data feeds to allow providers to triage patients and leverage specialists when needed.

In addition, a new asthma product suite includes a mobile app that empowers patients with the ability to view asthma-related weather forecasts, log symptoms and asthma triggers, establish medication reminders, track health status over time, as well as communicate with their care team.

Overall, the new app products are meant to ensure that the care teams can track and easily monitor in real time when patients experience asthma attacks and symptoms, which can be triggered by environmental exposure or allergies. According to Geisinger, more than 26 million Americans are affected by asthma and while there is no cure the disease can be managed.

“Patients sometimes do a lot worse with their asthma than we know based on a three-, six- or nine-month periodic office visit,” said Paul Simonelli, MD, chair of Geisinger’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “This new suite of products could easily be adapted to any long-term chronic respiratory illness that needs monitoring, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

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