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Impact of a digital health intervention on asthma resource utilization

  • Merchant, Rajan1
  • Szefler, Stanley J.2
  • Bender, Bruce G.3
  • Tuffli, Michael4
  • Barrett, Meredith A.4
  • Gondalia, Rahul4
  • Kaye, Leanne4
  • Van Sickle, David5
  • Stempel, David A.4
  • 1 Dignity Health, Woodland Clinic Medical Group, 632 W Gibson Rd, Woodland, CA, 95695, USA , Woodland (United States)
  • 2 University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado, Breathing Institute, 13123 East 16th Ave, Aurora, CO, 80045, USA , Aurora (United States)
  • 3 National Jewish Health, Division of Pediatric Behavioral Health, Department of Pediatrics, 1400 Jackson St, Denver, CO, 80206, USA , Denver (United States)
  • 4 Propeller Health, 47 Maiden Lane, San Francisco, CA, 94108, USA , San Francisco (United States)
  • 5 Propeller Health, 634 W Main Street #102, Madison, WI, 53703, USA , Madison (United States)
Published Article
World Allergy Organization Journal
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Dec 03, 2018
DOI: 10.1186/s40413-018-0209-0
Springer Nature


Digital health interventions have been associated with reduced rescue inhaler use and improved controller medication adherence. This quality improvement project assessed the benefit of these interventions on asthma-related healthcare utilizations, including hospitalizations, emergency department (ED) utilization and outpatient visits. The intervention consisted of electronic medication monitors (EMMs) that tracked rescue and controller inhaler medication use, and a digital health platform that presented medication use information and asthma control status to patients and providers. In 224 study patients, the number of asthma-related ED visits and combined ED and hospitalization events 365 days pre- to 365 days post-enrollment to the intervention significantly decreased from 11.6 to 5.4 visits (p < 0.05) and 13.4 to 5.8 events (p < 0.05) per 100 patient-years, respectively. This digital health intervention was successfully incorporated into routine clinical practice and was associated with lower rates of asthma-related hospitalizations and ED visits.

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