Development of a mobile app for asthma patients

Kantar Health is part of Kantar, a multinational company under the WPP investment company, uniting market research agencies worldwide. Kantar Health is a research agency focused on the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector in general. Besides providing market research services, Kantar Health also focuses on innovative solutions in the pharmaceutical industry, aiming to capture patient data through non-conventional methods. Altamira has covered the development of a mobile app for asthma patients. 

For Kantar Health, we developed a white-label mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, designed for asthma patients. Its primary role is to provide patients with information, educate them about asthma inhalers, remind them about the treatment, but most important, monitor the patient’s health status through a medical CAT questionnaire.

Reasons to develop a bespoke mobile app

  • Asthmatic patients, and patients with other chronic diseases, often have problems with “adherence” to treatment.
  • Adherence means the willingness and discipline to continue treatment even during a symptom-free period when the patient feels well.
  • In the long term, however, treatment failures can lead to a worsening of the patient’s health and the need to take so-called rescue treatment – treatment that only suppresses acute symptoms when they occur but does not address the cause.

Customer requirements for a new mobile application

  • The customer wanted to create a patient mobile app in the form of a white-label, i.e., easily “copyable” to other diagnoses.
  • Asthma was chosen as the initial diagnosis because it is a disease that often affects young people, i.e., people very much in touch with mobile phones and apps.

Technologies used

  • We developed the mobile application on the Ionic mobile framework, built on top of Google’s JavaScript technology – Angular.
  • This technology makes it possible to publish an app for both platforms (iOS/Android) while maintaining only one source code, minimizing costs.

Mobile app design

The mobile app guides the patient through using a specific type of asthma inhaler in the first step via interactive e-learning. It then verifies the patient’s knowledge with a quiz – questions that the patient has to answer. If the patient answers incorrectly, the app will make them think again and answer correctly.

The aim of the e-learning is, among other things, to explain to the patient how to use the inhaler correctly and to minimize side effects, which also lead to reduced adherence to treatment.

After going through the initial educational part, the patient uses the app to monitor their health. The mobile app notifies the patient daily and asks them to rate their condition on a scale of 1 – 5. If the patient feels worse, the app asks them to fill out a medical CAT questionnaire. It is a set of a few simple questions, the evaluation of which provides the patient with a so-called CAT score.

The score is stored in the background and generates a trajectory of the patient’s health status, a very important indicator for the patient’s treating physician, who can access the data from the app via a linked web application.

Besides the features above, the mobile app allows the user to set treatment reminders, communicate with Apple Health, and connect to smart devices via a Bluetooth interface.

How did we help the customer?

  • We developed a white-label platform for the customer to use in presentations to clients to demonstrate the capabilities of the patient applications.
  • A non-negligible aspect is also collecting anonymous, quantified patient data, treatment data, co-transcription data, etc., which are of particular value to the customer and its customers (pharmaceutical companies).

The future of the app

The mobile app aims to present ways to help patients with chronic diseases and, at the same time, monetize the app by selling data collected directly from patients, which is of significant value to pharmaceutical companies.

Applications also have far greater potential. They can be connected directly to doctors’ offices and communicate with them securely and in real-time the health status of patients. This can be life-saving or life-improving with some diagnoses. In one of the other projects we produced in this field, we connected a web application to the outpatient clinics of pulmonologist. This communicated to them the deterioration of the health condition of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which, if a doctor reacts quickly, could save the patient’s life with a relatively easy course of the disease (thanks to the capture of the so-called exacerbation and adequate treatment re-adjustment).

What does the customer say?

“Altamira Softworks demonstrated a mature and thorough project management approach, leading to the successful introduction of an improved platform. The team displays knowledge of relevant technologies and the ability to handle multiple tasks at once. “

Eric Yonter, Sales Director 

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