Informatics Research Seminar: BreathEasy: A PHR tool for managing asthma in an underserved population

September 19 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Barbara Massoudi, MPH, PhD
Presented from UNC-CH

Broadcast Link: Seminar


Abstract:Asthma is a common, chronic illness, affecting over 23 million U.S. adults who face daunting challenges in managing their disease conditions on a daily basis. RTI and the Virginia Commonwealth University developed and piloted a smartphone app, built on the latest clinical guidelines for treatment and self-monitoring of individuals with asthma, to assist adults with asthma to better manage their care and disease condition.

BreathEasy, part of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Project HealthDesign, was developed through a user-centered design approach with iterative development and feedback cycles.   Patients used an Android-based smartphone to record their observations of daily living (ODLs), including asthma and mental health symptoms, medication use, symptom triggers, physical activity, and activity limitations, among others. Clinicians (physician/nurse pairs) used a Web-based dashboard to review patient data and visualize trends and patterns in the ODL data on a regular basis, in accordance with a disease management approach.


Dr. Massoudi is Director of the Public Health Informatics Program in RTI’s Center for the Advancement of Health Information Technology program. Dr. Massoudi is project director for the BioSense Requirements, Specifications, Prototypes, and Pilots project with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Dr. Massoudi leads two projects for CDC in partnership with Agilex Technologies to conduct a demonstration of how health information exchanges can support preventive care at the community level.  She was the principal investigator for two Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grants to develop personal health record applications aimed at improving health status among persons with asthma and depression or anxiety, and increasing physical activity among sedentary adults, both following a user-centered design approach.  Dr. Massoudi’s current research interests include documenting and reengineering the business processes of public health, knowledge management, clinical decision support, personal health records, user-centered design, and public health informatics training and competencies.