Propeller Health uses digital data from inhalers to successfully reduce asthma symptoms in large-scale real world study

April 3, 2018

On 4/2/2018 Propeller Health and peer-reviewed healthcare journal, Health Affairs, published results from a cross-sector partnership in Louisville, KY, that successfully reduced the burden of asthma. AIR Louisville, one of the largest studies of asthma conducted in a real-world setting, was a collaboration among 25 public, private and philanthropic organizations to use digital health technology to improve asthma.

The authors found that participants experienced several positive clinical outcomes, including a 78% reduction in rescue inhaler use and a 48% improvement in symptom-free days. The hundreds of thousands of crowdsourced real-world data points on inhaler use, combined with environmental data, also informed municipal policy recommendations, including enhancing tree canopy, tree removal mitigation, zoning for air pollution emission buffers, recommended truck routes, and development of a community asthma notification system.

"AIR Louisville demonstrated the value of crowdsourced health data, influencing positive outcomes from an individual level up to the policy-making level," said Meredith Barrett, VP of Research at Propeller Health and co-author of the paper. "We think the potential for this collaborative approach is huge, and Propeller is committed to using the data we collect across thousands of patients to better understand where, when and why respiratory symptoms happen so that we can help people live healthier lives."

Propeller helps patients better manage asthma and COPD with a sensor that attaches to their inhalers and a mobile app that provides dosing reminders and insights into triggers. The app integrates weather forecasts with asthma related information and records events such as rescue medication use. Results on Propeller's website include: up to 79% fewer asthma attacks, up to 50% more doses taken on schedule, and up to 50% more symptom-free days.

The company has been recognized as the recipient of the American Telemedicine Association's 2016 President's Award for Innovation in Remote Healthcare, as one of the world's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, and as one of the top "Fierce 15" medical device companies in 2015 by FierceMedicalDevices.

Propeller also provides an open application programming interface (Air API), that applies machine-learning to data from Propeller and environmental sources. Led by Propeller data scientists and clinical researchers, the Air API predicts how asthma may be affected by local conditions. The Air API allows individuals and organizations to use local asthma conditions to help people with asthma.

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