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CHCF Makes Second Investment in Asthmapolis

CHCF has again invested in Asthmapolis, the company whose device tracks asthma inhaler use and reports data through mobile phones to patients and doctors to better manage the disease.

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) today announced a second investment in Asthmapolis, the FDA-cleared mobile health solution designed to improve the care of people with asthma and COPD, advance understanding of symptoms and triggers, and help them achieve control of these diseases.

Asthmapolis uses a novel combination of smartphone applications and snap-on inhaler sensors that track when and how often patients use inhaled medications. The platform, available in both English and Spanish, is designed to help individuals with their daily preventive medications, manage asthma by revealing insights about their use of rescue medications, and provide personalized feedback to improve their ability to successfully manage the disease.

Users receive ongoing educational outreach through email, text, mobile apps, and phone calls with a certified asthma educator. People may also opt to share information about their medication use with their health care provider, giving them the ability to monitor whether their treatment is truly controlling symptoms.

"Knowledge is power," said Margaret Laws, director of the CHCF Innovations for the Underserved program, which manages the CHCF Health Innovation Fund. "And Asthmapolis empowers people with asthma or COPD and their medical team to harness knowledge for better self-care and treatment."

"We need patients to tell us about the severity of their symptoms, how often they have sudden attacks, and what triggers their attacks so we can modify their treatment plans accordingly," said Dr. Rajan Merchant, an allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology specialist at Dignity Health. "With the Asthmapolis sensor and software application the patient's inhaler becomes a diary — recording, analyzing, and reporting data in real time — which helps providers monitor their patients and helps patients practice informed self-management."

Since receiving FDA clearance in July 2012, Asthmapolis has launched care coordination programs with payers such as Amerigroup Florida/WellPoint, providers such as Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in New York and Dignity Health in California, and retail pharmacy and public sector initiatives through the City of Louisville.

The CHCF investment in Asthmapolis, which now totals $1,047,000, is directed at helping to serve the underserved in California. "We are pleased that Asthmapolis has developed a low-cost solution that can provide patients with education through email, text, mobile apps, and personalized outreach by certified asthma educators," Laws said. "We believe there is tremendous potential for patients to benefit from technology that empowers them to better understand and manage chronic conditions."

"We look forward to working with CHCF on our joint mission to bring better health to communities across California," said David Van Sickle, CEO and co-founder of Asthmapolis. "With effort and enthusiasm we are together turning the corner on respiratory disease among these populations and closing the gaps in asthma care that have raised costs and led to millions of days of preventable suffering."

About Asthmapolis

Founded in 2010, Asthmapolis aims to improve the management of chronic respiratory disease for patients and health care professionals. Backed by the California HealthCare Foundation and other investors, Asthmapolis is now working with organizations like Dignity Health to demonstrate how mobile technology can empower patients, improve health, and lower health care costs. For more information, visit www.asthmapolis.com.

About the California Health Care Foundation

CHCF is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.

CHCF informs policymakers and industry leaders, invests in ideas and innovations, and connects with changemakers to create a more responsive, patient-centered health care system.

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