NHS funding is supporting the roll out of the Digital Health Passport, across 12 integrated care boards (ICB) regions, which is empowering people to take control of their health by making asthma self-management smarter.

Seven of the 12 ICB regions are already live: Humber & North Yorkshire; Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin; Peterborough & Cambridgeshire; South East London; North East London; Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent; and Lancashire & South Cumbria. The ICBs are using a number of unique approaches to evaluate the impact of the Digital Health Passport, including digital champions in school and colleges, and pharmacies distributing QR code stickers.

October will also see Sussex & North East Essex go live with the Digital Health Passport. Further regions are set to go live in the coming months.

Dr Greg Burch, clinical director, Digital Health Passport, and Joint CEO, Tiny Medical Apps, said: “Recognising the expectation of young people for digital tools, the co-development of the DHP was driven by the need to provide immediate access to comprehensive asthma management resources, enabling young users to take more proactive control of their condition and improve their overall quality of life. It also contributes to enabling a better standard of asthma care, whilst providing a level of consistency across the board.”

The asthma app aims to simplify asthma self-management by bringing together all of the necessary tools, information and support needed. It includes a personal action plan, allowing users to easily share emergency instructions with family and friends; medication reminders; symptom and peak flow monitoring, supporting early detection of worsening symptoms so that timely medical intervention can be given; plus air quality and pollen alerts.

Digital Health Passport also connects users to peer support, the Asthma & Lung UK helpline as well as NHS urgent care services. Educational content is provided from trusted sources including Beat Asthma, Asthma & Lung UK and Moving on Asthma.

Future plans for the Digital Health Passport include implementing NHS login. The initial focus will be on using NHS Login to improve medication adherence. App users will follow a digital pathway that will include ordering repeat medication using the NHS login, watching videos to teach correct inhaler techniques, setting medication reminders, recording medication use and symptoms and sharing the results with healthcare teams.

Burch added: “The Digital Health Passport will also support general health and well-being and have customised support for a number of long-term conditions. Work is already underway to support young people with sickle cell disease, and their carers, funded by an NIHR i4i Fast grant. The developers, Tiny Medical Apps, are also working with a leading epilepsy charity and have applied for funding to support young people with inflammatory bowel disease.”

Tackling asthma has also been a focus for NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, who established a virtual ward for asthma patients, using Spirit Health’s CliniTouchVie app.