A range of smartphone apps is currently available for the purpose of managing asthma. Some provide education about managing your condition, while others function as journals where you can record data about your medication use and asthma symptoms.
There are also apps that connect with your inhaler (or come with a special “smart” inhaler) via Bluetooth technology. These devices automatically collect data about how you are using your medication that you can give to your doctor.
Here is a brief overview of some of the options that are available. You and your doctor can decide which app will be the most helpful to you in managing your asthma.
Interactive apps connect to sensors in your inhaler via Bluetooth technology or can be connected to other devices. You may also be able to record additional information in the app. These apps may include features that allow data to be easily transferred to your healthcare provider.
Propeller uses a digital sensor that snaps onto your asthma inhaler. It works with many asthma medications.
The sensor connects to the Propeller app using Bluetooth. When you use your inhaler, the app automatically records certain information such as how much of the medication you used, when you used it, and where you used it.
Propeller is FDA approved for both asthma and COPD. You can sign up for the app and get the sensors online.
- Capable of automatically recording certain data so you don’t forget to input the information
- Can help you find a lost inhaler
- Can remind you when it is time to take a dose of your medication
- According to studies, use may decrease emergency room visits and hospitalization rates
- Provides information about weather and air quality (which may affect your asthma)
- Not available in all countries
- Incompatible with some inhalers on the market
- Glitches and problems syncing the app reported by some users
The sensors track your medication use and create graphs from that data which can be shared with your healthcare provider. You can use the app to remind yourself to use your medication.
The Hailie app can also be used as a standalone asthma app without the sensor.
- Automatically records certain data
- Available for both iOS and Android
- Provides educational content
- Allows your healthcare provider to view data in real time through a secure Web-based portal
- Sensors only available for purchase by customers in the Untied States and New Zealand
The main focus of the KagenAir app is to identify environmental triggers for your asthma or allergy symptoms, such as weather and air quality.
The app uses weather reports and has you answer questions about your symptoms. With this data, it generates a three-day forecast for allergy and asthma symptoms.
KagenAir also has features that allow you to connect with a healthcare professional through the app and locate nearby pharmacies.
- Helps you to identify triggers that can be avoided in the future to prevent symptoms
- Free for iOS and Android users
- Requires you to input information when you set up a profile and complete a daily questionnaire about your symptoms
Teva makes several inhalers that can be used with its app:
- ProAir Digihaler (albuterol sulfate)
- AirDuo Digihaler (fluticasone propionate 55mcg/salmeterol 14mcg, 113mcg/salmeterol 14mcg, and 232mcg/salmeterol 14mcg)
- ArmonAir Digihaler (fluticasone propionate 55mcg, 113mcg, and 232mcg)
The sensor in the inhaler connects with the app and begins recording data when the cap of the inhaler is removed or when you inhale.
The Digihaler app has many features and can even tell you if you are using your inhaler correctly.
- Automatically tracks certain data so you don’t have to manually input information
- Generates reports that can be shared with your healthcare provider
- Provides weather forecasts and allergy counts for your area
- Can add dose reminders, as well as remind you when your prescription needs to be refilled
- Only available for three medications (albuterol sulfate, fluticasone propionate/salmeterol, and fluticasone propionate)
Standalone apps usually do not connect with your inhaler or record data other than what you add manually.
Although you might be able to share this information with your doctor yourself, these apps do not have the advanced features to permit your data to be easily shared or transmitted to a healthcare provider or someone else.
Asthma Storylines is a diary-like app that allows you to input data about your symptoms and other information. It also lets you record questions that you have for your doctor and set reminders about your medications.
In addition to the smartphone app, there is a Web-based version that is accessible via desktop or laptop computer.
- Available on Android, iOS, and Web browsers
- Secure notifications to remind you to take your medication
- Offers educational content
- Allows you to contact a board-certified asthma specialist
- Uses a verified action plan
- Some users find app to be complex or glitchy
AsthmaMD is set up like a diary where you enter your own information, including things that may trigger your asthma attacks, details about your symptoms, and when, where, and how you are using your medications.
You also have the option of securely sharing your information with researchers who are using the data to identify asthma trends.
- Available on both Android and iOS
- Can opt in to sharing information that helps asthma research
- Offers emergency instructions and educational content
- Well known and widely used
- Some users complain app can be glitchy
- Asthma action plan unverified
Which App Is Best?
Overall, the Propeller app offers a wide range of features, has the ability to automatically input data, and can be used with a variety of medications. That said, another choice might be a better fit for your needs.
The app that is best for you will depend on a variety of factors, including what you are hoping to achieve by using one—for example, you might be trying to identify your asthma triggers or improve your medication use.
Talk to your healthcare provider about the asthma apps that are available. You might find that using more than one app is the best strategy for managing your asthma.