Amerigroup Florida now covers Asthmapolis for asthma management

By Brian Dolan
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AsthmapolisA WellPoint health plan in Florida, called Amerigroup Florida, announced that it will offer Asthmapolis' FDA-cleared mobile health device and service to its members with asthma.

Asthmapolis' device is a sensor that sits atop (most) inhalers used by patients who have asthma or COPD. The sensor transmits data to a companion app on the user’s mobile phone every time the inhaler is used. The app can then track the time and location of each medication discharge, which can then be used to help patients and their care givers better understand their asthma triggers. Amerigroup Florida members who use Asthmapolis will receive ongoing education outreach through email, text, mobile apps, and phone support from a certified asthma educator. They also have the option to share the information they collect via the device with their healthcare provider or other care givers.

Amerigroup Florida will make the offering available in both English and Spanish. It says the program "is designed to help people stick with their daily preventive medications, reveal insights about their use of rescue medications and provide personalized feedback, targeted education and other tools that improve members’ ability to manage their own disease."

Asthmapolis CEO and Co-founder David Van Sickle told MobiHealthNews in an email that the device and service will be made available to Amerigroup Florida members at no cost. If a member of that health plan is interested in using Asthmapolis but does not have a smartphone, Van Sickle said the companies will install a Qualcomm Life 2net hub in the person's home. The Asthmapolis device will transmit data to the home-based hub, which will, in turn, send it to the cloud and to populate the companion apps and web-based services. Van Sickle also made clear that this is not a pilot, it's a commercial deal for Asthmapolis.

Asthmapolis secured FDA clearance for its device and software last summer. Even before then, however, Asthmapolis had a deal in place with major healthcare system Dignity Health. In March 2012 Asthmapolis teamed up with Norton Healthcare, IBM, and the city of Louisville to help the area overcome its asthma issues.

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