InSpire to Play (Promote Lung Assessment in Youth): Evolving the Self-Management Paradigms of Young People with Asthma

Nithin O. Rajan* Pierre Elias*
Kara Mcarthur*
Nithin O. Rajan*, Blue Box Health, Inc., Houston, United States
Pierre Elias*, Rice University, Houston, United States
Kara Mcarthur*, Abramson Center for the Future of Health, Houston, United States
Harold Farber, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, United States
Clifford C. Dacso, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, United States

Track: Research
Presentation Topic: Web 2.0 approaches for clinical practice, clinical research, quality monitoring
Presentation Type: Oral presentation
Submission Type: Single Presentation

Building: LKSC Conference Center Stanford
Room: Paul Berg Auditorium
Date: 2011-09-17 04:30 PM – 06:00 PM
Last modified: 2011-08-12
Free Full Paper

If you are the presenter of this abstract (or if you cite this abstract in a talk or on a poster), please show the QR code in your slide or poster (QR code contains this URL).


Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood, disproportionately affecting urban, minority, and disadvantaged children. Individualized care plans supported by daily lung-function monitoring can reduce morbidity and mortality. However, despite 20 years of interventions to increase adherence, barely 50% of U.S. youth accurately follow their care plans, which leads to millions of preventable hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and sick days every year. We present a feasibility study of a novel, user-centered approach to increasing young people’s lung-function monitoring and asthma self-care. PLAY (Promoting Lung Assessment in Youth) helps young people become active managers of their asthma through the Web 2.0 principles of participation, co-creation, and information sharing. Specifically, PLAY combines an inexpensive, portable spirometer with the motivational power and convenience of mobile phones and virtual-community gaming.
The objective is to develop and pilot test PLAY, a fully functional interface between a handheld spirometer and an interactive game and individualized asthma-care instant-messaging system housed on a mobile phone.
PLAY is an application for PC and mobile phones that creates a compelling world in which youth collaborate with their physicians on managing their asthma. Drawing from design-theory on global timer mechanics and role playing, we incentivize completing spirometry maneuvers by making them an engaging part of a game young people want to play. The data can be sent wirelessly to health specialists and return care recommendations to patients in real-time. By making it portable and similar to applications normally desired, PLAY is able to seamlessly incorporate asthma management into their lifestyle.
A pilot study of PLAY assessed likability of the GUI as well as young people’s interest in our incentivizing system. Nearly 100% of children surveyed said they would play games like those in PLAY if they involved breathing into a spirometer. Two-thirds said they would prefer PLAY over the spirometer alone, whereas one-third would prefer having both. No children said they would prefer the spirometer over PLAY. Conclusions
Previous efforts at home-monitoring of asthma in children have experienced rapid decline in adherence. An inexpensive monitoring technology combined with the computation, interactive communication, and display ability of a mobile-phone is a promising approach to sustainable adherence to lung-function monitoring and care plans. An exciting game that redefines the way youth conduct health management by inviting them to collaborate in their health better incentivizes and can be a catalyst for farther-reaching goals.

Medicine 2.0® is happy to support and promote other conferences and workshops in this area. Contact us to produce, disseminate and promote your conference or workshop under this label and in this event series. In addition, we are always looking for hosts of future World Congresses. Medicine 2.0® is a registered trademark of JMIR Publications Inc., the leading academic ehealth publisher.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.