Institute Research Develops Asthma Chatbot
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and affects over 25 million people in the United States. Faculty member Alison Galbraith leads the AFFORD (Asthma in Families Facing Out-of-pocket Requirements with Deductibles) study to evaluate and compare the impact of high-deductible health plans and preventive drug lists on medication use and clinical outcomes for adults and children with asthma. The study, funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), also examines the experiences and health care decisions of people with asthma and their families, including the role people’s health insurance plays in their asthma care.
As part of the AFFORD project, Dr. Galbraith and her study team have partnered with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to help people learn more about managing and controlling asthma, asthma treatments, and how to deal with asthma triggers. The AFFORD project and AAFA recently developed and launched a chatbot to help people with asthma better understand their health insurance and make insurance decisions during open enrollment. Open enrollment may happen once a year, but asthma questions and concerns can arise day and night, 24/7. The chatbot uses artificial intelligence to deliver information on asthma and health insurance.
“Affordable access to asthma specialists and medications can be the difference between controlled and uncontrolled asthma,” said Alison Galbraith, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics.
Uncontrolled asthma can lead to missed work and school, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations. We hope this chatbot will help people understand their health insurance options and how to find out if their health plan covers their asthma medicines and specialists.