Last updated on September 2018

Technology Enabled Asthma Management System (TEAMS) Pilot Study

Brief description of study

To evaluate feasibility, acceptability, safety, and preliminary efficacy of a novel patient-centered, technology-based intervention to improve asthma care in younger adult smartphone users.

The program, called TEAMS (Technology Enabled Asthma Management System), uses a combination of smartphone symptom monitoring, guideline-based medication protocols, nursing telemedicine home visits, and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) custom programming.

TEAMS is intended to augment primary asthma care as provided at the University of Rochester Medicine Clinic.

Detailed Study Description

Uncontrolled asthma is a tremendous burden to individuals and society. Asthma is one of the most common chronic health conditions globally, affecting more than 8.2% of adults in the U.S. Of adults with asthma in the U.S., 63% have persistent disease, and less than half are well-controlled. Uncontrolled asthma is associated with bothersome symptoms, economic burden, lost work time, and poorer quality of life. Direct and indirect costs are estimated at 56 billion dollars annually, with over 1.8 million ED visits, 439,000 hospitalizations, and 3,400 deaths in 2010 alone. Asthma morbidity and mortality is preventable. Correct use of controller medication and effective self-management alleviates symptoms, prevents exacerbations, and minimizes long-term damage to lungs associated with pulmonary remodeling. For these reasons, the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI) Guidelines recommend that all individuals with persistent asthma should take daily controller medications and receive consistent self-management training.

Currently, less than half of adults with persistent asthma take controller medication, and most do not self-manage their asthma effectively. Patient, provider, and systems-level factors contribute to this pattern. Patients fail to report symptoms, take medications inconsistently, and have insufficient resources (knowledge, time, transportation, money) to manage their disease.Providers in turn may lack familiarity with current best-practice guidelines, follow alternate prescribing practices, or spend insufficient time educating patients. Translation of asthma management knowledge into practice-based solutions is urgently needed. Many asthma interventions have been implemented within investigator-controlled settings. Problematically, few have been evaluated within or translated into the context of real world practice, and thus hold little benefit for the greater patient population. Limited ability to translate interventions from the bench to clinical settings suggests a need to develop and test interventions within the context in which they are intended to function. Effective real-world intervention to improve asthma outcomes requires development of a multifaceted program targeting key factors at the patient, provider, and systems level.

These include:

  • Patient tendency to ignore, forget, and not report symptoms;
  • Patient non-adherence to prescribed medication;
  • Patient lack of self-management skills and knowledge on how to self-manage effectively;
  • Barriers to consistent follow-up (access to care, burdens of time and transportation);
  • Provider non-adherence to National Guidelines for step-wise management of asthma; and
  • Provider underestimation of symptoms, and lack of time to provide thorough asthma education.

Therefore, the purpose of this study is to test feasibility, acceptability, safety, and preliminary efficacy of comprehensive Technology Enabled Asthma Management System (TEAMS), which addresses these critical factors, in order to improve asthma management and outcomes in younger adults.

The specific aims of the study are:

Aim 1: To evaluate feasibility and acceptability of TEAMS. Hypothesis A: TEAMS will be feasible for and acceptable to young adults and primary care providers for routine management of asthma, as measured by USE-Q survey data, frequency of symptom self-monitoring and at completion of least one virtual visit, and post-intervention qualitative interviews.

Aim 2: To evaluate safety and preliminary efficacy of TEAMS.

Hypothesis B: TEAMS will be associated with improved asthma outcomes following intervention, as measured by primary outcomes of: (a) increased asthma control, pulmonary function, quality of life, and secondary outcomes of (b) decreased office visits for asthma exacerbations, asthma-related ED visits, and hospitalizations.

Aim 3: To optimize TEAMS intervention components based on quantitative survey data and qualitative interviews, including patient subject and clinic staff perspectives.


2.1. Overview TEAMS is a multi-level, theoretically-based intervention that capitalizes on patientprovidernurse partnerships and use of technology to improve the quality and convenience of routine asthma care. TEAMS has Social Cognitive Theory underpinnings. It targets person level factors associated with asthma outcomes (individual knowledge, norms, attitudes, illness beliefs and self-efficacy), self-management behaviors (prevention, monitoring, management and communication of symptoms), and environmental factors (access to care, delivery of guideline-based care).

The overarching goal of TEAMS is to improve asthma outcomes by leveraging capabilities of existing technology (smartphone, telemedicine, electronic medical record). TEAMS will operate in conjunction with standard care in the Medicine Clinic.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03648203

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Jennifer Mammen, PhD, NP-C

University of Rochester
Rochester, NY United States
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