Findings published in the British Medical Journal show that patients who used mobile phones to monitor their asthma, did not improve control of the disease when compared to paper monitoring.
It also found that the use of mobile phone monitoring was considerably more expensive, leading researchers to conclude that it was not as cost effective overall.
The researchers who were funded by Asthma UK, randomized 288 patients with poorly controlled asthma to use either the t+ Asthma app on their smartphone, or the traditional paper monitoring method.
The app enabled twice-daily recording and transmission of symptoms, drug use, and peak flow. Patients in the control group were asked to keep a paper diary, recording the same data as the mobile group, again twice daily.
They wanted to see whether using the app would increase self-management of the patient’s asthma, but the results showed that there was no significant difference in the change in asthma control or self-efficacy between the two groups.