The feasibility and impact of implementing a computer-guided consultation to target health inequality in Asthma.

07 Feb 2023


Greater Manchester has a greater prevalence and worse asthma outcomes than the national average. This study aims to evaluate a digital approach to primary care asthma management and in particular the initial impact of implementing Clinical Decision Support System software in the form of a computer-guided consultation (CGC) in the setting of primary care asthma reviews in deprived areas of Greater Manchester. The CGC (LungHealth Ltd) is an intelligent decision support system ensuring accurate guideline-based staging of asthma and assessment of asthma control with the software subsequently prompting guideline-standard management. Patients on asthma registers in Greater Manchester Primary Care Networks were identified and underwent remote review by nursing staff using the CGC linked directly to the GP clinical system. Three-hundred thirty-eight patients (mean age 59 (SD 17) years; 60% Female) were reviewed. The CGC reported the patient's asthma control to be "Good" in 22%, "Partial" in 6% and "Poor" in 72%. ACT scores were significantly higher in those patients exhibiting "Good" and "Partial" control when compared to those with "Poor" control. The number of steroid courses and hospital admissions in the previous 12 months was significantly lower in those patients exhibiting "Good" and "Partial" control when compared to those with "Poor" control. Nineteen percent were found not to have a personalised asthma management plan during CGC review, which was alerted by the CGC and subsequently, all but 3 patients had this created on review completion (McNemar's test; p < 0.001). 5% were found not to have been prescribed regular inhaled steroid therapy resulting in the operator being alerted by the CGC in all cases. Overall, 44% underwent alteration in asthma therapy following the CGC review with 82% of these representing treatment escalation. An end-to-end digital service solution is feasible for Asthma within primary care and the utilisation of a CGC when conducting primary care asthma reviews increases implementation of guideline-level management thus addressing healthcare inequality while enabling identification of "high risk" asthma patients and guiding appropriate therapy escalation and de-escalation. Read more here.

Resource information

Respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Chakrabarti B, Kane B, Barrow C, Stonebanks J, Reed L, Pearson MG, Davies L, Osborne M, England P, Litchfield D, McKnight E, Angus RM