14 October 2020

The online care concept Luchtbrug, an initiative of Radboudumc, is an effective way to monitor and supervise children with asthma. Following the use of Luchtbrug, children need to visit the hospital less often. Moreover, they can communicate more easily with their doctors and quickly view their individual care plan with information about medication and goals. It also provides an action plan in case of complaints. On 9 October, pediatric lung specialist in training Lara van den Wijngaart was awarded her PhD for her research into the use of Luchtbrug.

Since the outbreak of the corona virus, a lot of attention has been paid to remote care. However, children with asthma have been monitored online for years with Luchtbrug. In her doctoral research, Lara van den Wijngaart studied the effectiveness and efficiency of this approach.

Care via online monitoring

Routine check-ups for children and young people with asthma can be replaced by online communication. In her thesis, Lara van den Wijngaart showed that the quality of care and the quality of life are maintained with this online approach. In her PhD study, more than 200 children with asthma were divided into two groups. One group had physical check-ups every four months and the other group every eight months. The second group also had monthly on-line monitoring with Luchtbrug. The results showed that asthma control improved in the group that was monitored via Luchtbrug.

Van den Wijngaart: “Luchtbrug provides benefits for patients and their parents. It leads to more patient-oriented care and improved control due to more frequent monitoring. In addition, contact with doctors is more accessible. Another benefit is that the patients do not have to come to the hospital as often, so they do not miss school, sports or hobby activities, and their parents do not have to take time off from work.”

Many benefits for healthcare providers

The research also demonstrated many benefits for healthcare providers. Some of the tasks can be transferred from pediatricians to pediatric nurses. Consultation hours become more efficient because some of the information is already known online. Moreover, the doctors have a more comprehensive view of their patients due to the nearly continuous monitoring via Luchtbrug, and healthcare providers have more time for complex patients.                                  

Luchtbrug now used in 18 hospitals

Luchtbrug is an ‘eHealth’ innovation that has the potential to save about 10 million euros per year in healthcare costs, and is now used in 18 hospitals. The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) recently decided to allow reimbursement of online monitoring via Luchtbrug. An initiative of Radboud university medical center, Luchtbrug was made possible by support from the Longfonds and the Innovatiefonds Zorgverzekeraars.


About the PhD ceremony

PhD graduation ceremony of Lara Stefanie van den Wijngaart at Radboud University/Radboudumc in Nijmegen. Thesis title: eHealth in pediatric asthma - From promise to practice. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. C. Noordam, co-supervisors: Dr. P.J.F.M. Merkus and Dr. J. Roukema. Ceremony took place on 9 October 2020.



Related news items

More than five million euros for research to improve palliative care Jeroen Hasselaar will lead research project with Horizon grant

15 June 2022 Jeroen Hasselaar will lead a large international research project. With a 5.3 million euro grant from the EU's Horizon program, he and his team want to improve palliative care for cancer patients, together with partners from nine European countries. read more

Tailored drug dosage for pregnant women

14 March 2022 Three quarters of women in the Netherlands use some form of medication during pregnancy, but little is known about the appropriate dosages. Research by the Radboudumc, MUMC+ and Lareb Mothers of Tomorrow should change this. read more

Most COVID-19 ICU survivors experience symptoms one year after ICU admission Publication in JAMA

25 January 2022 75% of the COVID-19 survivors who were treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) experience physical, mental and/or cognitive problems one-year post ICU. This shows the large-scale MONITOR-IC study led by Radboudumc. read more

Decision-making in extreme prematurity awarded by ZonMW

16 May 2018 Rosa Geurtzen was awarded as appreciation for her role in a project that contributes to making effective choices in healthcare. She received the scholarship for the PreCo study, in which prenatal counseling in extreme preterm birth is optimized. read more