Despite the emphasis placed on asthma education, asthma mortality is on the increase, with rates of disability higher in adolescents. Technology provides unprecedented opportunities for developing means to manage, control, and prevent acute episodes in chronic illnesses. This article describes the use of handheld wireless computer devices (eg, personal digital assistant or pocket personal computer) to prevent emergency department visits and to improve outcomes for patients with severe persistent asthma. The uses of personal digital assistants and challenges encountered in their use are described. Recommendations regarding nurses’ contribution in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program patient outcomes are provided.

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