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Who are you and what do you do?

Orbital Media is one of the UK’s most innovative digital agencies and is led by CEO Peter Brady and COO Hayden Allen-Vercoe. Orbital works with many of the world’s biggest global companies, often specialising in the development of pioneering innovations that improve health and wellbeing.  Areas of focus tend to be around the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality and gamification.

Orbital’s latest innovation is MySpira, the world’s first metered dose inhaler training app, which utilises the new augmented reality functionality, released by Google (AR Core) and Apple (AR Kit). It is designed to substantially improve inhaler technique among children aged 6 – 13, in order to boost healthcare outcomes, save lives and reduce the £1.1 billion spent by the NHS on asthma each year.

The app has been developed by Orbital Media in Stowmarket, Suffolk, in collaboration with University of Suffolk (part funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Innovate UK), who provided consultancy, research, development support and a graduate work placement. The project has also been supported by healthcare experts, including Dr. Simon Rudland and asthma nurse, Karyn McBride. 

What are your business objectives with regards to allergy and supporting people with allergic disease? 

We know that allergies can trigger asthma exacerbations in up to 90% of children with asthma, and whilst it is a condition that cannot currently be cured, it can be well controlled with a good action plan and inhaler technique. 

Various studies have shown that up to 93% of asthma sufferers use their inhalers incorrectly, which can result in less than 5% of the medicine reaching where it’s needed in the lungs. Where proper inhaler training programmes have been put in place, emergency admissions have been reduced by 50% and asthma deaths by 75%. In fact, the National Review of Asthma Deaths in 2014 concluded two thirds of asthma deaths would be preventable by better management. 

21st century children are digital natives, so, by incorporating the latest technology into inhaler training, we will be able to promote better recall of key asthma, allergy and inhaler information. This is supported by a recent University of Suffolk study, of 96 children aged 6 - 13, which showed that a steady increase of information recall was observed using the MySpira app, over traditional asthma / inhaler education methods, such as leaflets and videos. Specifically, MySpira demonstrated an overall score that was 26% better than videos and 70% better than leaflets.   

It is therefore our business objective, to improve the lives of children living with asthma and allergy conditions, through better, richer and more engaging digital health education. 

Why have you chosen to partner with Allergy UK?

Allergy UK is a key partner for us. Their commitment to improve the lives of people living with allergies and asthma, perfectly complements our own vision.  The educational, resource led assistance Orbital Media has received supports our approach to provide a pioneering digital resource for children living with allergy and asthma issues.  We hope that with Allergy UK’s help, this revolutionary new technology can be considered an invaluable asthma education tool by parents, schools, doctors and asthma nurses, across the UK.  

What is the overall objective for the partnership?

It is our belief that Orbital’s partnership with Allergy UK can substantially improve healthcare outcomes and mortality rates for children living with asthma and allergy.  Together, we can substantially improve healthcare education for a new, digital savvy generation.