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Did you know that Ireland has the fourth highest incidence of asthma in the world? Around 470,000 people in Ireland suffer from asthma, and 60% (282,000 people) do not have their symptoms controlled. This chronic disease is costing the country €533 million, and at least one person a week dies from an asthma attack in Ireland. However, by adhering the asthma management guidelines, this situation could be greatly improved.
 
The Asthma Society of Ireland has launched Asthma Coach, a new free app for iPhones and mobile websites for all Smartphones aimed at helping people with asthma, or the parents of children with asthma. The app allows users to record and track their asthma symptoms, medication usage and peak flow to help them control their condition. Users can also share the diary and a graph of their asthma activities with their healthcare professional if they wish.
 
Asthma symptoms and the need for medication can change over time and so the Asthma Coach allows for this to be tracked by the user or the parent. Other functions include the ability to set up reminders such as when to make an appointment with the GP, when to refill a prescription, and when to do a peak expiratory flow.
 
The app was enabled through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Healthcare Ireland. The app also includes a pollen forecast from March-November, which is supported by Dyson. There are also videos and instructions on how to use inhalers and other devices correctly, and what to do in an emergency and how to test your peak flow.
 
To find out more about the app, visit www.asthmasociety.ie  for more information.

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