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World’s first augmented reality asthma app shortlisted in national awards

5 Sep 2019 11:30AM

The University of Suffolk’s first Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which resulted in a revolutionary new app to help children with asthma, has been shortlisted for a national award.

The project has been shortlisted for the Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year Award in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2019.

The MySpira app was developed in partnership by the University and Stowmarket-based Orbital Media.  The app improves the training of correct inhaler technique, using a combination of augmented reality and game play.

MySpira is the world’s first metered dose inhaler training app to utilise the new augmented reality functionality, released by Google (AR Core) and Apple (AR Kit). The University provided consultancy, research and development support and a graduate work placement.

In a follow-on study by the University of Suffolk’s Dr Suha Al-Naimi, 96 children aged 6-13 years were analysed. It found a steady increase of information recall was observed with the MySpira app, over traditional asthma / inhaler education methods, such as leaflets and videos. Specifically, MySpira demonstrated an overall score that was 26% better than videos and 70% better than leaflets.

Responding to the news about the shortlisting, Director of Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship at the University of Suffolk, Stefanie Thorne, said, “A key aim of any KTP project is to be of benefit to all of the partners involved- the company, the University and a graduate associate. This project delivered this and much more with the huge potential to transform lives and communities through innovation. The impact and reach of the use of this app has gone beyond our expectations and demonstrates the value of businesses and Universities working together not just for wealth creation but for transformational impact on people’s lives and their communities. We are really pleased to be shortlisted for this award and look forward to many more of these collaborations.”

Peter Brady from Orbital Media, added “Over 3 years ago, we identified that 93% of asthma sufferers misuse their metered dose inhalers, which has a strong correlation with deteriorating healthcare outcomes and rising rates of mortality. I’m immensely proud of our team at Orbital and the KTP collaboration with University of Suffolk, which has ultimately produced a ground-breaking technology that could save many lives across the globe.”

THE editor John Gill said, "The THE Awards hold a place in the hearts of many in UK higher education and have now been a fixture in the its calendar for well over a decade. This year we decided to incorporate the complementary strengths of our THE Leadership and Management Awards, so that the range of categories better reflects the reality of how universities operate today, and the interwoven nature of so much of what they do. This will be the biggest celebration of higher education that we have ever hosted.”
“I am delighted to say that the ‘Oscars of higher education’ go from strength to strength. With 23 categories this year, we’re also showcasing more exceptional stories than ever before, and it’s a real honour for us to shine a spotlight on all those who have made it as far as these shortlists – their stories deserve much wider circulation."



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