Launched as Breathe Easy, this cutting-edge program is designed to improve the quality of life for Bushwick-area children with asthma
MADISON, Wis. – [March 19, 2013] – Asthmapolis today announced Wyckoff Heights Medical Center is the first hospital in New York to offer the Asthmapolis system to families of children with asthma. Through its Breathe Easy Program, the hospital will provide families with free access to Asthmapolis, an FDA-cleared mobile health solution designed to improve the care of people with asthma, advance understanding of symptoms and triggers and help them achieve control of the disease.
“Here in the Bushwick region of Brooklyn, we have one of the highest rates of asthma in the entire state of New York. The patients we serve in this community experience too many hospitalizations, emergency department visits and readmissions for asthma attacks,” said Dr. Gustavo Del Toro, chief medical officer at Wyckoff. “By partnering with Asthmapolis to introduce the first of its kind program in New York, we can use this mobile asthma management system to strengthen our level of chronic care, decrease those ED visits and hospitalizations, and ultimately improve the quality of life for children with asthma in Bushwick.”
Asthmapolis uses a novel combination of smartphone applications and snap-on sensors that track when and how often patients use their inhaled medications. The platform, available in both English and Spanish, is designed to help families stick with their child’s daily preventive medications, reveal insights about a child’s use of rescue medications and provide personalized feedback, targeted education and other tools that improve parents’ ability to successfully manage their child’s disease.
Wyckoff has been experiencing a growing number of readmissions for asthma patients. “Our number one cause of readmissions for adults and children is asthma. It’s higher than congestive heart failure or any other disease we treat,” said Del Toro. “We want to close a major gap in communication and care. Now that they will be enrolled in the Breathe Easy Program with Asthmapolis, we can develop a better monitoring model for these children with asthma, and find a way to better treat their condition.”
“This mobile program is going to allow us to do better follow-up with our families, give clearer instructions on how to take medications, and through more individual contact with the parents, help us understand why some children with asthma are bouncing back with frequent ER visits and admissions,” said Dr. Patrisha Woolard-Pickens, attending pediatrician at Wyckoff.
The Breathe Easy Program will also feature coordinated services from the new pediatric outpatient center at Wyckoff. The center hosts a dedicated asthma treatment room, open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., to manage outpatient care specifically for children with asthma. This new approach to asthma care helps families avoid long hours in the ER and admissions to the hospital.
“Through Asthmapolis, we are going to have a better understanding of what happens once a child is discharged and prescribed medication,” said Myra Ortiz, executive assistant at Wyckoff. “That’s what we need, not just knowledge that they have an inhaler, but access to data to know whether or not they are using it. That will be a huge help in improving our level of care.”
“Wyckoff’s Breathe Easy Program will reveal valuable new information about the day-to-day burden and management of asthma that can be used immediately to help reduce the number of preventable asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and readmissions – and alleviate a lot of unnecessary suffering,” said David Van Sickle, CEO and founder, Asthmapolis. “We’re honored to be Wyckoff’s partner in this important and groundbreaking work to help reduce the burden of asthma in their community.”
“We’re excited to be the first hospital in New York to work with Asthmapolis,” added Del Toro. “It’s extremely rare for a hospital in an underserved area of New York to be a pioneer, and yet we’re taking advantage of the fact that we’re a hospital that serves children of immigrants, Latinos and other working class people to do cutting-edge, bilingual asthma care.”
Families who would like to enroll in the program are invited to an open house on Saturday, March 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Wyckoff’s Pediatric Center. Details are available online at www.wyckoffhospital.org/BreatheEasy, or through program coordinator Rachel McKenny, RN, MS, CPNP, (718) 963-7368 or rmckenny(at)wyckoffhospital.org.
About Wyckoff Heights Medical Center
Located in an ethnically diverse residential neighborhood directly on the border of northern Brooklyn and western Queens, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center is a 350-bed teaching hospital. A dedicated staff of 1,800 physicians, nurses and support personnel represent thirty- five distinct languages and cultures.
Asthmapolis was founded in 2010 with the goal of improving the management of asthma for patients and healthcare professionals. The company’s inhaler sensors, mobile applications and other tools enable asthma patients and their physicians to gain more awareness of asthma control and understanding of triggers, while also providing public health researchers with timely, comprehensive and objective data on the burden of asthma in communities. Asthmapolis has partnered with organizations such as the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California HealthCare Foundation, Dignity Health and others.