New Online Patient Education and Engagement Platforms Help the Asthma and Allergy Foundation Address Old Problems with Modern Tools
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has recently launched a twin set of online education and engagement platforms that are new weapons in the fight against old foes – asthma and allergies. And it's aimed right where patients and families spend their time seeking information and support – online. The Foundation's flagship public website www.aafa.org and its companion site, www.kidswithfoodallergies.org, are the most comprehensive and reliable online resources available, for free, to more than 60 million Americans living with asthma, food allergies, anaphylaxis, nasal allergies, skin allergies and related diseases.
AAFA's new mobile-responsive sites are organized primarily for patients and caregivers, but they also have much to offer healthcare professionals, insurers, researchers and others. The health content has been edited and reviewed by AAFA's Medical-Scientific Council, with specific attention to usability so that patients and caregivers can easily find the information they need.
More than just good design, these sites harness the power of social media with blogs, interactive features, disease-specific communities and discussion forums. AAFA's unique online communities – like the Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) Community – allow parents who are dealing with similar needs and concerns to connect and communicate with each other and with medical experts to share ideas, advice and support in a safe and moderated environment. AAFA is also developing an online community to support people with severe asthma, with other similar communities to follow.
AAFA's new web platforms are designed with a fresh, clean and user-friendly design. Key features of the new platforms include:
- Mobile-responsive design
- Easy reading-level
- Online community support forums
- Interactive allergy-friendly recipe database
- Blogs and newsrooms
- Advocacy action network
- Certified products & buyers' guide
- Food allergy and asthma registries
- "Ask the Allergist" service
AAFA's President and CEO, Dr. Cary Sennett, says the new websites are an important part of the Foundation's new direction. "Digital technologies, such as the web and smartphones, are a primary source for information and support in all aspects of our lives. Digital channels allow people with diseases like asthma and allergies to turn to AAFA as a trusted source for the information they need, when they need it, presented in a way that is most useful. Our new websites and online communities are a major step toward advancing AAFA's mission in this direction."
AAFA already hosts the largest asthma and allergy communities on social media, with more than 130,000 fans on the AAFA Facebook page and 70,000 on the Kids With Food Allergies page. And together, the AAFA websites already host over 300,000 unique visitors each month, among the most visited asthma and allergy sites on the Internet. The newly launched website platforms will help AAFA to strengthen its leadership and outreach in the patient community.
While enhanced online communication is a priority, AAFA remains committed to traditional outreach as well, with five Regional Chapters, 50 Educational Support Groups and a network of 100 affiliated health clinics in a Community Awareness Partner Program. AAFA is committed to meeting people "where they are" to provide a variety of platforms and digital resources to help patients learn how to better manage, treat and prevent asthma and allergies, and to lessen the burden of these diseases on individuals, families and communities.
The continued move by AAFA towards more active digital delivery of information and services is a good thing for patients. But it's good for AAFA, too. The 63-year-old nonprofit patient advocacy organization is not changing its mission, just modernizing its tactics. "When we make use of the best technology, we can provide more value to those we serve and stretch our limited resources farther," says Dr. Sennett, "and that's a healthy prescription for all of us."
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a not-for-profit organization founded in 1953, is the leading patient organization for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions. AAFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients through education, advocacy and research. AAFA provides practical information, community based services and support through a network of regional chapters, support groups and other local partners around the United States. For more information, visit www.aafa.org.
SOURCE Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America