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Stowmarket tech company Orbital Global celebrate MySpira asthma app NHS success

A tech company is celebrating after an app they developed to help children with asthma has been adopted by five NHS clinical commissioning groups.

The commissioning groups, all based in Essex, have signed up to MySpira, an augmented reality asthma training app created by Stowmarket-based Orbital Global.

According to the company’s research, 97 per cent of children misuse their inhaler and studies have shown that proper inhaler training programmes cut emergency admissions by 50 per cent and asthma deaths by 75 per cent.

Andreia Antunes, Ross Gurung, Orbital CEO Peter Brady, and Tom Andrews. Picture by Mark Westley
Andreia Antunes, Ross Gurung, Orbital CEO Peter Brady, and Tom Andrews. Picture by Mark Westley

MySpira has been designed to improve the training of correct inhaler technique, using a combination of augmented reality and game play.

The app is free to download, with a paywall after the first two programmes. The Essex NHS groups have signed up to the app and healthcare professionals can now give patients codes for the complete app version.

Hayden Allen-Vercoe, chief operating officer of Orbital Global, said: ‘Using cutting edge technology, the app teaches children vital skills to help manage their asthma condition in a fun and engaging way, which is perfect for the generation of children growing up in today’s digital world.

Orbital Asthma app (49678767)
Orbital Asthma app (49678767)

“Used alongside a child’s existing asthma care plan, the app is a valuable resource which helps the whole family to understand asthma better and know what to do should an attack occur.”

My Spira has been taken up by NHS Thurrock CCG, NHS Southend CCG, NHS Mid Essex CCG, NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG, and NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG

Research by University of Suffolk found that MySpira outperformed other learning materials, including leaflets and videos, specifically in terms of enjoyment and learning outcomes.

Orbital Asthma app (49678777)
Orbital Asthma app (49678777)

It particularly benefited children aged between six and nine-years-old.

The app was developed by Orbital Global in conjunction with University of Suffolk via a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. Development was also supported by healthcare experts, including Dr.Simon Rudland and asthma nurse, Karyn McBride.

Dr Sooraj Natarajan, GP clinical lead for the Mid and South Essex Growing Well Board said: “The beauty of the app is that we can introduce it to children at their asthma review and they can learn and practise their inhaler technique.”

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