BACKGROUND: Large observational implementation studies are needed to triangulate the findings from randomized control trials (RCTs) as they reflect "real world" everyday practice. In a pilot study, we attempted to provide additional and complementary insights on the real life treatment of allergic rhinitis using mobile technology.
METHODS: A mobile phone app (Allergy Diary, freely available Google Play and Apple App stores) collects the data of daily visual analogue scales (VAS) for (i) overall allergic symptoms, (ii) nasal, ocular and asthma symptoms, (iii) work, as well as (iv) medication use using a treatment scroll list including all medications (prescribed and over the counter (OTC)) for rhinitis customized for 15 countries.
RESULTS: A total of 2,871 users filled in 17,091 days of VAS in 2015 and 2016. Medications were reported for 9,634 days. The assessment of days appeared to be more informative than the course of the treatment as, in real life, patients do not necessarily use treatment on a daily basis; rather, they appear to increase treatment use with the loss of symptom control. The Allergy Diary allowed differentiation between treatments within or between classes (intranasal corticosteroid use containing medications and oral H1-antihistamines). The control of days differed between no [best control], single or multiple treatments (worst control).
CONCLUSIONS: The present study confirms the usefulness of the Allergy Diary in accessing and assessing everyday use and practice in allergic rhinitis. This pilot observational study uses a very simple assessment (VAS) on a mobile phone, shows novel findings and generates new hypotheses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- Journal Article
- mobile technology
- observational study