Best app for tracking asthma/peak flow - Asthma UK communi...

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Best app for tracking asthma/peak flow

Paradigm profile image


I'm at the end of the PEF tracking booklet the nurse gave me. I don't really want to end up with stacks of booklets to track PEF over time, so I'd like to use an app.

It looks like My Asthma would fit the bill, except it hasn't been released on android.

I need to be able to input daily medication usage, PEF scores and yes/no monitoring of the ACT symptoms (tight chest, nightly waking, avoiding activities etc).

Many thanks!

21 Replies

I use SaniQ asthma app, very useful with both plotting a graph and data viewing. It also tells you the percentage of your peak flow according to your best results, not just the predicted for age/height/sex etc. I don’t know if it is available on android though. 🤞

Paradigm profile image
Paradigm in reply to Holly89

Ooh, thanks. I've downloaded it. How do you input the data for medication taking? I've set up two medications - ventolin and fostair - but I'm unsure whether I log another... bit which is in German (so that it says 'logged x minutes ago') (and where to view this data) or something else entirely.

Holly89 profile image
Holly89 in reply to Paradigm

I haven’t put in my inhalers as my predominant focus was peak flow change and the percentage. Then if I take ventolin I add a note when I input a low peak flow. I just morphed the app to what I want it to do...haha...sorry. Hope you managed to figure it out.

Emerion profile image
Emerion in reply to Holly89

Hi Holly89 . I’ve got the SaniQ app. Can you tell me how to change my ‘normal’ setting. It took my first ever entry as being normal unfortunately. I’ve tried deleting the app and starting again, but it has remembered my previous ‘normal’

Hi I've just read about the Dani q app. I've downloaded it. Thankyou I didn't realise things like this existed. Xxx

If you have an iPhone, the Health app on there allows you to track PF, FEV, etc. It doesn't allow exporting from within the app, but there's a separate app that will export the data to a spreadsheet for you. There's also an app called AsthmaMD (I think it costs a pound or two) which will export for you, but to be honest I found the built-in one does everything I need.

Gareth57 profile image
Gareth57 in reply to Minushabens

Good tip, I’d never noticed that there was peak flow and inhaler usage in the health app. Might have to search through the phone a bit more 😂

Minushabens profile image
Minushabens in reply to Gareth57

A lot of other apps will write info into the Health app as well. The app that exports the data is called QS access. It exports it as a 'csv' file, but once you get the hang it is easy to read your information.

I think AsthmaMD also allows you to share your records directly with health professionals, but I get a sense that's perhaps more of an American thing.

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador in reply to Minushabens

I have to admit I found AsthmaMD absolutely awful every time I tried to use it. It never lets you alter anything once you enter it (so the functionality is pretty poor) and though it goes on about how it was created with a doctor, they don't seem to have asked any patients! I would advise steering clear as it drives me nuts, with a very limited view of asthma.

I have used one called AsthmaTracker which wasn't bad. I have to say I found the selection overall pretty poor and worse for Android. There was a pretty good one I used on my iPad which is now defunct, but I can't remember the name sorry! It had a kind of green and blue icon with a stylised inhaler and a cross I think.

I have just found SaniQ on the Google store so will give it a go - thanks Holly! For me the key things are being able to adapt it to my personal best, ideally to show graphs and to have FEV1 as well as peak flow - not everyone measures that but for me it's more useful. Also to have symptoms trackable. There was another one which seemed pretty good but it couldn't cope with my poor control and essentially took over my tablet demanding I see a dr and take medication - the alerts wouldn't turn off.

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to Lysistrata

I think that is the one I tried yesterday, and once I had made some very basic, trivial mistake in signing up/logging in I could never get in again. I have deleted it.

Paradigm profile image
Paradigm in reply to Minushabens

I've got a Samsung so I'll have a look online. The reviews for AsthmaMD didn't look great (lots of people saying it crashed) so I didn't try it. I'll have a look at my phone's built in app,

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

Meant to say there is one called MyAsthma which was developed by a pharma company (they actually tend to make pretty good ones as they have the resources for it). It seems to be great in terms of functionality (I had a play with it at work as I work in medical communications) but will only actually work on iPhone - the Android version will download, but doesn't open.

Paradigm profile image
Paradigm in reply to Lysistrata

Yeah, that's the best one I've seen in terms of what it offers (unsurprisingly considering that my printed booklet was made by the same company). Unfortunately, my phone is an android and the website says 'coming soon'.

I thought I'd mention the ones I've downloaded and perused, all the ones with personal best also allow predicted:

SaniQ - Functionality seems good, but I'm having a little trouble working out how to view my inputted medication doses. Some bits are still in German. Allows you to mark symptoms, input PEF and/or FEV, you can enable reminders, has a decent colour coded graph using your personal best. Also has list.

Asthma Logger - Pretty terrible. You can rate your day as perfect/not so bad/bad and input reliever doses. No PEF function.

Km Asthma - Visually very pleasing. Functionality is easy to use. Has reminders, graphs, lists, allows you to input mood, rating of asthma, symptoms and asthma, emergency plan, emergency contacts. No PEF input. If you're not taking PEF scores, it could be a good app. Good for adolescents.

Breathcount - Easy enough graph or list, links to google or facebook. You can input emergency contacts. Personal best. No medication. Not my favourite but very simple.

Peak Flow Manager - The graph is the best so far, list view, colour codes morning and evening readings, allows you to input before and after meds plus enter details. Does not have a function for separate medication data input. High levels of customisation for the graph - you can change colours, put a line between reading, put a coloured fill under reading lines (like a wave), put zones on. Multiple export options. Personal best.

Peak Flow - Very simple and easy to use. Clear colour background bars based on personal best. I think it also had list view. Not useful for tracking medication or symptoms. Good export options.

Asthma Tracker & Log - It looks clunky and outdated, so I didn't download it.

Asthma - (logo has three dots: green, orange and blue) the data is inputted as a list, you can list four types of symptoms (cough, sputum, wheezing and dyspnea) from one two four, plus puffs. Medication can listed but I can only see one option for puffs. Still the reliever dose, symptoms and PEF are laid out clearly and apparently your steps can be too. Allows upper and lower limits. Exports as a graph. Has an asthma control test in app (although, it's not the only one). I like the layout (especially if it also had an in-app graph) and it's visually clear but not got the functionality I need.

Asthma Monitor - Outdated layout/looks like something out of the game Theme Hospital, ACT test, rescue inhaler input and peak flow measurements. Rating of cough, sputum, wheezing and dyspnea. No personal best. Clunky

Tomorrow I'm going to finish checking out AsthmaMD which having downloaded it seems to have lots of buttons but all the options I'd need. Pretty clean design. Although I've accidentally added my reliever as a preventer and am now struggling to delete it which ties in with Lysistrata about it being difficult to amend. Will add more tomorrow.

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

I absolutely love the fact you have done this! I never put together a list of what I liked/disliked about the various apps and I should have done, as I spent a while playing with them.

AsthmaTracker is a bit clunky but it was the only one I could find which did what I wanted (PEF and FEV1, personal bests. A lot will not do both). It lets you add more stuff eg more symptoms and triggers, and track which triggers caused an attack which you can log and note alongside PEF/FEV1, symptoms and treatment. It absolutely needs work but I think is worth a look. I am however annoyed at its inability to sync, and my asthma nurse could not get over its ink-wasting habits of printing graphs on a black background! You can email the charts, though there is no way to combine PEF and FEV1 which in my case at least would be useful as they are often very different.

I"d be interested to hear your thoughts on AsthmaMD. Apart from the lack of editing ability, I am pretty sure it drove me nuts mainly because it wouldn't let you enter more than one symptom (possibly more than two? Either way, not useful when you have several - it seemed unable to handle multiple types of data). I have deleted it now in frustration but I remember that I gave the updated version another chance because it finally allowed personal not just predicted best, only to give up once I found it still wouldn't let me record most of what I wanted, though initially it looked good.

Paradigm profile image
Paradigm in reply to Lysistrata

I'm a little puzzled by AsthmaMD at the moment. At the moment, I have a white line on my graph and a black line on my graph. The graph itself shows traffic light zones but neither gridlines nor scores. One of which is PEF and one of which is... something else altogether.

It does allow you to input a personal best, but if you input a higher-than-best score it forces you to update your personal best. In theory this makes sense, but I'm not meant to update my zones/plan without someone looking at it - presumably because it would shift a number of my scores into amber. (By contrast, SaniQ expresses it as a percentage.)

In the settings, you can enable FEV1 and PEF (and pulse oximetry) to be entered at the same time, though these appear to be created as separate logs in the diary beneath one another which means you can delete one but not the other.

You can also add as many symptoms as you like (and you can also make your own preset symptoms) and also fully edit records.

It does allow you to enter medication (but only by ticking a prescribed amount of circles set by yourself as a daily maximum), but seemingly not save them as a separate record which seems odd since you can enter triggers. It does say that it's saving the record for reliever though I'm not sure where to?

(I assume you could get around this by doing an extra reading with your preventer, but I can't see where compliance is viewable except by opening individual records which may not show trends.)

You can either view the graph in landscape or click on details and notes vertical but, I don't know. I also think it lost two of my records, but that could have been me fiddling about with settings. There's just something that irritates me about it in a way that SaniQ doesn't.

So, I'm not fully happy with any option yet as I don't think I could properly track medication on it (for example, if my PEF is only being held up by ventolin or reducing medication).

I might give Asthma Tracker a go then. I'm also considering giving Peak Flow Manager another shot, since I can't get medication logging to work properly.

I know I'm late to the party but WOW paradigm that's a fab thing you've done reviewing the various apps. I tend to go through phases of recording my PF, symptoms etc but I've been referred to the hospital for regular checks so I figured it would probably be useful to record things. I'm going to have a proper read of your reviews, that will be such a help for me to decide on which one I want to use :-)

Hope you do find it useful! The one thing I would add is that the SaniQ app (the one I ended up using) has updated and you can no long download the free reports, instead it costs just over £2 every time you want a PDF.

You can still view the data in the app over a week/month (at a time, all data is still viewable in that format) but it means that if you want more information than say '400 3 days ago' on a list, you have to click into each one. It doesn't hold your place when you click back to the list either, so you have to remember your place. I've considered writing my own app but (since I have no coding skill) have resorted to logging the information in SaniQ and moving it over to an excel spreadsheet with conditional formatting.

I could probably share it across onedrive and log it straight in there, but I'm too lazy.

This is what my spreadsheet looks like:

Thank you for sharing that, it looks really useful :-) So it looks like I'll have to do a bit more than just log. I also like to see things collated over a long period of time, I even have a spreadsheet for my petrol LOL

I need to find an asthma app for Samsung Galaxy s9 android phone

Paradigm profile image
Paradigm in reply to Black35

Hi Black35,

I tested these on my galaxy S7, so I expect they would similarly on your phone. I've been putting the data into saniQ (which now actually lets you input and view inhalers) and then transferring it to a spreadsheet to display it exactly as I want it.

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