Disease Management and Health Outcomes

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 89–98 | Cite as

The Effectiveness of An Interactive Electronic Lung Function Monitoring System in the Total Management of Refractory Asthma

  • Grace Baldwin Doherty
  • Robert N. Ross
  • Phyllis E. Ross
Original Research Article


A hand-held interactive electronic lung function device and tele-health monitoring system (AirWatch™ Airway Monitoring System, ENACT Health Management Systems, Inc., Mountain View, California, USA) has been developed that measures, records and reports airway status via a remote computer to the healthcare team of the patient with asthma. This article discusses the contribution of this electronic lung function monitoring system to a comprehensive programme of asthma care of 26 patients with severe asthma (mean age 48.7 ± 17.9 years) followed for a total of 359 patient-months.

The total number of emergency room visits decreased from 84 (mean 3.32 ± 8.45 per patient) before beginning the treatment programme to 1 (mean 0.04 ± 0.20 per patient) after participating in the programme (Mann-Whitney U, p < 0.001). The total number of inpatient hospital days decreased from 114 (mean 4.38 ± 7.01 per patient) before beginning the programme to 3 (mean 0.12 ± 0.43 per patient) after the programme (Mann-Whitney U, p < 0.001).

Estimated average emergency room charges were reduced from $US2656 to $US32, and average hospital charges were reduced from $US4380 to $US120 for equivalent pre- and post-programme periods. The requirement for prednisone pulses was reduced (t-test, p < 0.008). The mean symptom score (higher score means better function) before entrance into the programme was 0.62 ± 1.20 and improved to a mean of 3.38 ± 1.92 after participation in the programme (Mann-Whitney U, p < 0.0001). The mean activity tolerance score was 2.50 ± 2.20 before entrance into the programme and improved to a mean of 5.35 ± 1.20 after the programme (Mann-Whitney U, p < 0.0001).


Asthma Adis International Limited Peak Flow Severe Asthma Emergency Room Visit 
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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grace Baldwin Doherty
    • 1
    • 3
  • Robert N. Ross
    • 2
    • 3
  • Phyllis E. Ross
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Asthma ManagementMassachusetts Respiratory HospitalBraintreeUSA
  2. 2.Medical/Science AnalyticsBrooklineUSA
  3. 3.Center for Asthma ManagementUSA

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