Technology Advances Ease Asthma Management

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Companies are turning to technology to help patients manage asthma symptoms and avoid attacks, according to an August 2, 2012, article in the Seattle Times.

Technology companies have created tracking devices and mobile applications to help adults manage asthma symptoms by tracking their medication use as well as weather and environmental triggers. Several companies have also set up websites to help children with asthma learn about managing their chronic condition.

Advances designed for adults include GPS sensors that attach to an inhaler and track the location and time it is used. Bluetooth technology sends the information to a remote server and can be used to signal potential attack triggers, according to the article. When tested on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the article added, the GPS sensors replaced the need for patient journals on medication use.

Other advances include iSonea’s Wheezometer, which uses sound to measure breathing vibrations and detect wheezing symptoms that could escalate into an asthma attack. ISonea and other companies also offer asthma management apps capable of recording medication use and peak flow readings and sending medication reminder alerts.

Technology offerings are also targeting children and their caregivers, with interactive websites that employ animation, games, and other tools to help children understand triggers and symptoms of the disease.