Children's Hospital Colorado

Monitoring Technology Helps Families Take Control of Asthma

Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalizations and missed school days for kids, especially among lower socioeconomic groups. That’s why Children’s Hospital Colorado addresses asthma-related challenges through a multi-faceted approach, implementing community outreach programs, home visits and innovative research studies.

An asthma monitoring device sits next to a smartphone showing the asthma monitoring app.

The challenge of tracking medications

Parents of asthmatic children face daily challenges when it comes to keeping track of medications, action plans and appointments as they manage their child’s asthma and try to prevent traumatic emergency room visits.

“We know that asthma medications work,” says Heather Hoch, MD, pediatric pulmonologist at Children’s Colorado’s Breathing Institute. “But it’s difficult for families to keep track of medication and for providers to get an accurate picture of adherence to medication.”

This is why the asthma team at Children’s Colorado implemented an adherence monitoring technology developed by vendor Propeller Health. The technology consists of a cap that goes on the top of inhalers, which syncs data and gives feedback to providers and families about frequency of use. Our asthma team is currently piloting this technology with enrolled patients.

Analyzing data for better treatment

The data that the device generates is only available to families and providers. It allow parents to monitor and troubleshoot how often children are taking medication and gives providers a better understanding of the child’s needs for asthma care.

“Utilizing technology to solve problems related to chronic diseases is a wave of the future,” says Dr. Hoch, who looks forward to sharing the results of the study. “These interventions will help families take more control over their child’s asthma and help providers better understand how to give the best chronic care to kids.”

Learn more about our work to help address respiratory illness in our community.