Application of Human Augmentics: A Persuasive Asthma Inhaler

J Biomed Inform. 2017 Mar;67:51-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2017.02.003. Epub 2017 Feb 13.


This article describes a tailored health intervention delivered on a mobile phone platform, integrating low-literacy design strategies and basic principles of behavior change, to promote increased adherence and asthma control among underserved minority adolescents. We based the intervention and design principles on theories of Human Augmentics and the Elaboration Likelihood Model. We tested the efficacy of using electronic monitoring devices that incorporate informative and persuasive elements to improve adherence to a prescribed daily medication regimen intended to reduce use of asthma rescue medications. We describe the theoretical framework, hardware and software systems, and results of user testing for design purposes and a clinical pilot study incorporating use of the device and software by the targeted population. The results of the clinical pilot study showed an 83% completion rate for the treatment as well as improved adherence. Of note, 8% and 58% of participants achieved clinically significant adherence targets at baseline and last week of the study, respectively. Rescue asthma medication use decreased from a median of 3 puffs per week at baseline to 0 puffs per week during the last week of the study.

Keywords: Asthma; Behavior change; Human Augmentics; Persuasive technology; Visualization.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Cell Phone*
  • Female
  • Health Literacy*
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Minority Groups
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Pilot Projects


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents