Success Stories

The Asthma Care Pathway Helps Asthmatic Patients

-- Newsletter_september_2019 (newsletter_september_2019.jpg)

235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide*. With proper treatment, many of them can lead a normal life. The treatment relationship of asthmatic patients usually lasts for several years or even for decades. 

The Asthma Care Pathway developed by the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) offers care between hospital visits, and this digital service is available anytime and anywhere. The care pathway significantly increases monitoring and safety of home care. The hospital benefits from the service because it is able to treat a growing number of patients with existing resources.

The Allergy Outpatient Clinic of the Helsinki University Hospital has offered an asthma care pathway for adult patients since the end of 2018. The patients can choose to register for the service at the start of treatment. The care pathway provides patients with information about self-care, drug therapy and periods of exacerbation, for example. A communication channel between the patient and a health care professional is also available. The care pathway also offers an asthma diary, where the patient can record PEF values, courses of cortisone and antibiotics as well as asthma-related sick leaves. When the patient arrives for an appointment, this information is reviewed with the physician.  

A separate self-care program supports asthma patients using the care pathway in smoking cessation. “With regard to smoking cessation, it is considered important that the quitter can remotely contact a professional. This can be achieved through the care pathway,” says nurse Kaisa Ojala. In the future, the aim is to utilize this care pathway in the use of biologic asthma medications, for example.

*Statistics: The World Health Organization (WHO)

What is a digital care pathway?

A digital care pathway is a digital service developed by the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS). It offers patients information about the illnesses and serves as a communication channel with the treatment unit. The digital care pathways include, for example, patient instructions, images and videos as well as various exercises, queries and a tool for monitoring personal health values. The service supplements traditional care and appointments. The digital care pathway can be duplicated and tailored for various patient groups.

The asthma care pathway includes:

  • information about self-care, drug therapy and periods of exacerbation;
  • exercises that include, for example, information about special drug therapies;
  • an asthma diary;
  • a communication channel