Dignity Health Improves Asthma Outcomes with Use of Digital Health Technology


SAN FRANCISCO – April 20, 2016 – Dignity Health, one of the nation's largest health systems, announced results from a randomized controlled study which demonstrated that the use of digital health technology improved asthma control. The study, "Effectiveness of Population Health Management Using the Propeller Health Asthma Platform: A Randomized Clinical Trial," was recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

The Propeller Health Asthma Platform utilizes sensors, mobile applications, and analytics to monitor short-acting beta-agonist (SABA) and inhaled corticosteroid use in real-time. The platform provides detailed information about patterns of medication use and notifications about patients with worsening asthma control.

"The research demonstrates that the benefits of telehealth go beyond monitoring medication adherence, but can also identify patterns of risk and impairment. This additional information may allow more timely interventions and enhanced asthma management," said Dr. Rajan Merchant, the principal study investigator and physician at Dignity Health's Woodland Clinic Medical Group. "Although additional study efforts are needed, digital health is promising to help improve care and asthma control."

Currently, more than 40 percent of both adults and children in the U.S. report uncontrolled asthma, according to recent studies. Current guidelines recommend monitoring of SABA use and assessment of asthma control. Electronic monitoring of SABA use provides an indication of poor asthma control.

More than 495 adults and children enrolled in this study. The results found that the total amount of SABA use, and the total number of days when SABA was needed, was lower in the group using the Propeller Health Asthma Platform compared to the patients receiving routine care. Furthermore, a significantly greater increase in the Asthma Control Test was demonstrated in adults with uncontrolled asthma in the intervention group compared to adults with uncontrolled asthma under routine care.

"We are very pleased with the growing body of data that supports the effectiveness of our asthma platform," said David Van Sickle, CEO of Propeller Health. "Our partnership with Dignity Health is important as we continue to advance innovation in chronic respiratory disease management and improve patients' quality of life."

About Dignity Health

Dignity Health, one of the nation's largest health care systems, is a 21-state network of 9,000 physicians, 59,000 employees, and more than 400 care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the poor and underserved. In FY15, Dignity Health provided $1.7 billion in charitable care and services. For more information, please visit our website at www.dignityhealth.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.