AstraZeneca teams with Geisinger on EHR apps to get asthma patients talking to their doctors

AstraZeneca and Geisinger want to get asthma patients talking—to their doctors. And they're rolling out a new suite of digital apps to help make that happen.

The suite of apps combines patient-submitted and EHR data, giving doctors a window into their patients' day-to-day health and overall patterns. And for patients, the apps offer more help managing their own condition and open up a direct pipeline for communicating with their medical team.

Doctors will be able to view the combined data either patient-by-patient or aggregated together, to better understand their patients’ asthma experience specifically and more broadly. Called the Provider Asthma Management Assistant, the web-based software tool works in real-time, allowing HCPs “to triage patients on the fly and bring in specialists as needed.”

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For patients, AZ and Geisinger’s individual mobile app helps track their own symptoms and triggers that happen in between office visits, as well as other features including asthma-related weather forecasts, medication reminders and even the ability to chat with their physician and related caregivers. The result is meant to improve reporting, which in turn leads to better disease management and outcomes.

“Asthma symptoms can be unpredictable, and breathing issues don’t always occur in the doctor’s office—a tool to help patients and physicians stay connected and share information is what connected health is all about,” said Tosh Butt, AZ respiratory VP, via email interview. “AstraZeneca’s partnership with Geisinger is focused on how we can arm patients and physicians with digital tools with the intention of speeding diagnosis and treatment decisions.”

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Rebecca Stametz, senior director, clinical innovation at Geisinger, added via email, “These products are not a substitute for clinical care and are not intended for rapid response systems, but rather to better understand the patient’s experience with asthma. The products can be viewed as a vehicle for more robust patient-clinician communication.”

AstraZeneca competes in the crowded respiratory and asthma market with longtime hits Pulmicort Symbicort, but more recently added Fasenra to its portfolio, although that drug lost its bid to extend beyond asthma to COPD in May after a pair of failed trial reports.