What You Should Know:
– Anthem, Inc. announced a new study that examines how the use of everyday devices, like Apple Watch and iPhone, may help individuals with asthma, led by the University of California, Irvine.
– Launching in the fall, the two-year, randomized controlled study will enroll participants from Anthem-affiliated health plans who have been clinically diagnosed with asthma.
–Anthem, Inc. today a new study that examines how the use of everyday devices, like Apple Watch and iPhone, may help individuals with asthma better self-manage their condition for improved clinical outcomes. The virtual study is being conducted by the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and was designed in collaboration with Apple, Inc. CareEvolution is the study technology partner responsible for building the study app and enabling the collection of the study data.
Launching in the fall, the two-year, randomized controlled study will enroll participants from Anthem-affiliated health plans who have been clinically diagnosed with asthma. The primary goal of the study is to investigate clinical changes in outcomes associated with the use of the new digital tools in self-management of asthma. Additionally, the study will explore if data collected from everyday use devices such as iPhone and Apple Watch can help predict asthma exacerbation or serve as potential digital biomarkers of asthma control.
Research Study Protocols
Eligible participants will be invited to enroll in the study. Participants who choose to enroll in the study will receive a Beddit Sleep Monitor and an Apple Watch. To investigate the impact of digital intervention on asthma symptoms and healthcare utilization, the active group of the study will have access to the digital asthma tool, designed for the study.
The digital asthma tool includes daily symptoms and trigger tracking to provide awareness of asthma control and personalized nudges based on changes in signals from their Apple Watch including activity, heart rate, the new Blood Oxygen feature, and other health metrics. Participants will also receive timely curated education materials and prescription refill resources.
Designed with patient privacy in mind, the study offers the participants complete control over their data, and transparency into how the data will be used and shared. Data will be stored on the participants’ device and shared through a direct, encrypted connection with CareEvolution.
Why It Matters
Nearly 25 million Americans are currently diagnosed with some form of the chronic condition, and, when uncontrolled, asthma can lead to permanent lung damage, hospitalizations, and even premature death. Additionally, nearly 1.8 million emergency department visits each year are counted as a result of asthma attacks.
While there is no cure for asthma, studies have shown that many people can improve their symptoms and reduce exacerbation risk through self-management behaviors including avoiding triggers – such as pollen, mold or smoke – medication adherence, and correct inhaler technique. However, asthma self-management is often far from ideal, with some data suggesting that less than 50 percent of individuals with asthma are well-controlled. Scalable and effective solutions are needed to empower patients to improve asthma self-management and reduce the need for costly asthma care.
“Personalized medicine and improving the health of populations are based on similar principles. The human body contains critical information – data – necessary to diagnose and treat our patients,” said Dr. Steve Goldstein, vice chancellor for health affairs at UCI. “Through innovation and emerging technologies, we are able to harness that data, and by coupling it with an individual’s environment and experiences, chart pathways to lifelong health and well-being. Public-private collaborations like this one with UCI, Anthem and Apple, are fueled by the passion to serve and shared entrepreneurial spirit, and are helping us establish new standards of whole-person care for our patients.”