This is an important development as we move into winter when asthma triggers can be worse in some people due to the colder weather and the potential to catch colds and flu.
As part of the World Asthma Day celebrations earlier this month on 1 May, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ launches phase three of the 'My Asthma' app, which can store more than one Asthma Action Plan per device. This means that families with more than one person with asthma will now be able to save multiple action plans, holding all the information to action when a person with asthma starts to feel unwell. This is an exciting development making the app even more user friendly and benefiting those families where multiple action plans are required.
Letitia O'Dwyer, Chief Executive at the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, comments: "We're very excited to launch the third phase of our app 'My Asthma'. This is a vital resource for people with asthma all around the country and now has over 1150 users. The app provides simple asthma management information at the touch of a button, and it's great that families will now be able to store this information for all members. We're very thankful to the Lion Foundation who kindly provided the funding to enable this update."
One in seven children and one in nine adults in New Zealand live with asthma, which means over 521,000 New Zealanders take medication for asthma.
Teresa Demetriou, Head of Education and Research for the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, adds: "The 'My Asthma' app is a great tool to ensure that people have access to Asthma Action Plans while out and about. You never know when asthma may flare up, so it's very handy to have this information easily accessible and while on the go."
In celebration of World Asthma Day the Foundation also launched the 'Teachers' Asthma Toolkit', to provide key information about asthma, and resources for teachers to take into the classroom. It includes information about what asthma is, the symptoms, common triggers, and what to do in an emergency. The toolkit is an interactive digital resource available at www.learnaboutlungs.org.nz.
'My Asthma' app is available free on Android and IOS devices from Google Play and Apple App stores.
Asthma in New Zealand:
• The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ do not receive any government funding, relying solely on donations and grants to do the important work in supporting the one in six New Zealander's with a respiratory condition.
• Over 521,000 people take medication for asthma − one in nine adults and one in seven children (Source: New Zealand Health Survey).
• Large numbers of children (3,552 or 410.3 per 100,000 in 2015) are still being admitted to hospital with asthma, and some of these will have had a potentially life-threatening attack.
• By far the highest number of people being admitted to hospital with asthma are Māori, Pacific peoples and people living in the most deprived areas: Māori are 3.4 times and Pacific peoples 3.9 times more likely to be hospitalised than Europeans or other New Zealanders, and people living in the most deprived areas are 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalised than those in the least deprived areas.