• UK asthma patients to contribute to global mobile app study

UK asthma patients are being asked to monitor their health and symptoms through an iPhone app in order to contribute to a global study into personalised treatments.

The app, Asthma Health, uses Apple’s ResearchKit platform to allow patients to monitor and understand their condition, as well as follow a treatment plan.

Symptoms and potential triggers tracked through the technology are then sent to researchers, who are building a body of data on the condition.

Dr Eric Schadt, founder of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, the organisation behind the app, said: "We're going global by adding the UK and Ireland to our clinical research platform.

“(We are able) to collect an unprecedented breadth and depth of 'real world' health data and create a more holistic view of individuals and the disease on a population level.”

Asthma Health, which has been available in the US for nearly a year, was one of the first apps to use Apple’s medical software framework.

“ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before,” said Jeff Williams, Apple's senior VP of operations.

So far, over 8,600 people have signed up to Asthma Health and participated in the research, with Shadt describing it as the ‘largest real-world epidemiological studies of asthma’.