ASTHMAXcel Adventures is a gamified, guideline-based, pediatric mobile application that improves asthma control, knowledge, and quality of life, and reduces emergency department (ED) visits and prednisone use with high satisfaction scores, according to the results of a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Uncontrolled pediatric asthma severely affects patients and their families, and digital technologies have the potential to enhance the partnership between patients and providers. ASTHMAXcel Adventures was designed to teach young patients about asthma through brief educational videos and interactive games.

In the current study, researchers at the Montefiore Asthma Center in the Bronx, New York, assessed the mobile application’s effect on asthma control, knowledge, healthcare use, and patient satisfaction in 39 pediatric patients with asthma who used the app at baseline (visit 1), 4 months (visit 2), and 6 months (visit 3).

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The proportion of controlled asthma increased from visit 1 to visits 2 and 3 (30.8% vs 53.9%, P =.04; 30.8% vs 59.0%, P =.02). Mean Asthma Illness Representation Scale-Self Administered (AIRS-SR) scores increased from baseline pre to postintervention (3.55 vs 3.76, P =.0006), with sustained improvements at visits 2 (3.55 vs 3.80, P =.001) and 3 (3.55 vs 3.99, P <.0001). Pediatric Asthma Impact Survey (PAIS) scores also improved from baseline to visits 2 and 3 (43.33 vs 34.08, P =.0006; 43.33 vs 31.74, P =.0001).

In addition, ED visits and prednisone use significantly decreased from baseline to visits 2 and 3 (ED: 0.46 vs 0.13, P =.03; 0.46 vs 0.08, P=.02; prednisone: 0.49 vs 0.13, P =.02; 0.49 vs 0.03, P =.003). Satisfaction was high with a mean Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ) score of30 out of a possible 32) at all visits.  

“Novel features of ASTHMAXcel Adventures include its gamified interface directed towards maximizing user retention, personalized algorithms to display relevant educational content, and other features to drive behavior change including push notifications and an app leaderboard,” the study authors wrote.


Hsia B, Singh AK, Njeze O, et al. Developing and evaluating ASTHMAXcel adventures: A novel gamified mobile app for pediatric patients with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. Published online July 22, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2020.07.018

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor