Jennifer R. Mammen , PhD, NP-C, Judith D. Schoonmaker , MS, James Java , PhD, Jill Halterman , MD, MPH, Marc N. Berliant , MD, Amber Crowley , PharmD, MS-MTM, BCPS, BCACP, Marina Reznik , MD, MS, Jonathan M. Feldman , PhD, Robert J. Fortuna , MD,S ean M. Frey , MD, MPH, Kelsey Turgeon, Ashley Philibert & Kimberly Arcoleo , PhD, MPH
The majority of adults with persistent asthma have chronically uncontrolled disease and interventions to improve outcomes are needed. We evaluated the efficacy, feasibility, and acceptability of a multi-component smartphone-telemedicine program (TEAMS) to deliver asthma care remotely, support provider adherence to asthma management guidelines, and improve patient outcomes.
TEAMS utilized: (1) remote symptom monitoring, (2) nurse-led smartphone-telemedicine with self-management training for patients, and (3) Electronic medical record-based clinical decision support software. Adults aged 18-44 (N = 33) and primary care providers (N = 4) were recruited from a safety-net practice in Upstate New York. Asthma control, quality of life, and FEV1 were measured at 0, 3 and 6 months. Acceptability was assessed via survey and end-of-study interviews. Paired t-test and mixed effects modeling were used to evaluate the effect of the intervention on asthma outcomes.
At baseline, 80% of participants had uncontrolled asthma. By 6-months, 80% classified as well-controlled. Improvements in control and quality of life were large (d = 1.955, d = 1.579). FEV%pred increased 4.2% (d = 1.687) with the greatest gain in males, smokers, and lower educational status. Provider adherence to national guidelines increased from 43.3% to 86.7% (CI = 22.11-64.55) and patient adherence to medication increased from 45.58% to 85.29% (CI = 14.79-64.62). Acceptability was 95.7%; In follow up interviews, 29/30 patients and all providers indicated TEAMS worked better than usual care, supported effective self-management, and reduced symptoms over time, which led to greater self-efficacy and motivation to manage asthma.
Based on these findings, we conclude that smartphone telemedicine could substantially improve clinical asthma management, adherence to guidelines, and patient outcomes.