Lung health app expanded
A new app has been launched to help vulnerable Australians learn about lung health.
The app uses interactive images, audio and quizzes to teach people about various conditions affecting the lungs. It is available in eight different languages used in northern and central Australia.
In Australia, the burden of ill health from acute and chronic lung diseases remains high among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Health education that is culturally appropriate is important to reduce language and context barriers to health equity.
Originally released in 2020 with a focus on asthma, the app has been expanded to include other common childhood lung conditions such as bronchiolitis, pneumonia and bronchiectasis.
Project lead Dr Gabrielle McCallum says that the expanded app is an innovative way to help people access important health information about common lung conditions in their home and at their own pace.
“The team evaluated the app with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers and found that knowledge of lung health significantly improved after using the app, particularly how lung conditions are treated,” Dr McCallum said.
“Health care professionals also described the app as an innovative and effective method of providing lung education to culturally and linguistically diverse groups.”
Lung Foundation Australian CEO Mark Brooke welcomed the launch of the updated health app, adding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are significantly over-represented in lung disease statistics.
“Bronchiectasis in particular disproportionately affects Australian Indigenous children, so an informative, easy-to-use app to educate families and carers in vulnerable communities is a great initiative,” he said.
Larrakia Elder and chair of the Menzies Child Health Indigenous Reference Group Aunty Bilawara Lee says the app is even more important for families during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Getting information about how to keep lungs healthy to the community is very important right now. The threat of coronavirus means that good lung health is critical in preventing a disaster from happening,” Aunty Bilawara Lee said.
Languages included in the app include English, Kriol, Tiwi, Murrinh Patha, Yolngu Matha, Ptijantatjara, Western Arrente and Warlpiri.