Issue 6
Tuesday, 04 August 2020
Charles Darwin University
From left: Mabel Miller and William Hughes with Dr Gabrielle McCallum
From left: Mabel Miller and William Hughes with Dr Gabrielle McCallum

New asthma app to increase health literacy

By Courtney Wilson

Learning about asthma has just become a lot easier for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and health practitioners, thanks to a new interactive app.

The app, produced by Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies), uses interactive images, audio and quizzes to teach people about asthma.

It is available in eight languages used in northern and central Australia: English, Tiwi, Murrinh Patha, Yolŋu Matha, Kriol, Pitjantjatjara, Western Arrernte and Warlpiri.

Menzies senior research fellow and project lead Dr Gabrielle McCallum said the app was an innovative way to help people access important information about asthma in their home and at their own pace.

“The team evaluated the app with 80 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers from the Northern Territory and Queensland and found that knowledge of asthma significantly improved after using the app, particularly how asthma is treated and the steps in first aid,” Dr McCallum said.

“Health care professionals also described the app as an innovative and effective method of providing asthma education to culturally and linguistically diverse groups.”

The asthma app is the first of a suite of respiratory-health educational apps called “Lung Health for Kids” and was developed with funding from Asthma Australia, The Centre for Research Excellence in Respiratory Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Queensland Health.

The app is available on Google Play and the Apple Store.