• Lung Health For Kids uses technology to teach about asthma. (iStockphoto)Source: iStockphoto
Lung Health For Kids uses technology to teach respiratory health in new and effective ways, and is now available in eight different languages.
Rae Johnston

22 Jun 2020 - 3:43 PM  UPDATED 22 Jun 2020 - 3:43 PM

At a time when respiratory health is more important than ever, a new interactive app is making learning about the lungs a lot easier for more people.

Lung Health For Kids incorporates interactive images, quizzes and audio in English, Tiwi, Murrinh Patha, Yolgnu Matha, Kriol, Ptijantatjara, Western Arrente and Walpiri.

Covering Bronchiolitis, Pneumonia, Chronic Suppurative Lung Disease (Bronchiectasis), and Asthma, The Menzies School of Health Research's Child Health Division designed the app as a resource for individuals and health workers.

According to Asthma Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three times more likely to die from asthma and have poor clinical outcomes, while the Menzies Child Health Indigenous Reference Group said culturally appropriate health education is essential to reduce language and context barriers to health equity.

Larrakia Elder Aunty Bilawara Lee is the Chair of the Menzies Child Health Indigenous Reference Group, and said "getting information out into community about how to keep asthma in check was "very important right now."

"The threat of coronavirus means that good lung health is critical in preventing a disaster from happening," she said.

Dr Gabrielle McCallum from The Menzies School of Health lead research on the app. Among the 80 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers from the Northern Territory and Queensland who were a part of the study, knowledge of how to treat asthma "significantly improved" after using the app.

"Health care professionals also described the app as an innovative and effective method of providing asthma education to culturally and linguistically diverse groups," said Dr McCallum.

Lung Health for Kids

The research program also aimed to support projects that lead to real outcomes for people living with asthma. Michele Goldman, CEO of Asthma Australia, said the organisation is "very proud" to partner with the app.

"It is evidence-based and tailored in a meaningful way to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to live better with their asthma," said Ms Goldman. "It will deliver better outcomes for people, and that's what we strive to achieve."

You can download the app for free on Google Play or the Apple App Store, and if you want to see another language added you can email the asthma app team at cre.indigenous.lung@menzie

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