GPS- and WiFi-enabled inhaler to help epidemiologists study asthma

Apr 13, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Asthma is a serious medical condition that can have life threatening consequences. That is why most asthmatics carry an inhaler. It is small enough to be nestled in a purse, or carried in a pocket, and most asthmatics will not leave home without it. That is why it is a perfect tool for collecting epidemiological data about asthma.

Researcher, Dr. David Van Sickle, formerly of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is hoping to collect that data with a GPS- and WiFi-enabled inhaler. This inhaler, which has been developed for Asthmapolis and dubbed Spiroscout, takes readings every time that it is puffed by a user. Those readings include both a time of use, and the location in which it was used. That data is then sent to a central computer for analysis.

This has two major benefits for sufferers. The first is that is allows a patient, with the assistance of a physician to analyze their inhaler use. This process can reveal patterns in inhaler use and indicate adjustments that are needed in the patients medication schedule.

The second benefit is in the accumulated data that will be collected. The information obtained through this program could provide valuable insights for epidemiologists, who will be able to study data from an entire group of asthma sufferers, without relying on self-recorded logs. The data may also lead to a better understanding of in an area.

Dr. Van Sickle's device is not the first GPS enabled inhaler on the market. In 2009 SiliconSky GPS developed the first iteration of the technology for Asthmapolis, but that device had a chunky box attached to the back. Dr. Van Sickle's device has the built into the cap, making the device slimmer and easy to carry.

Explore further: Facebook outlines plans for virtual reality

More information: asthmapolis.com/how-it-works/
via Popsci

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pharmacists as educators can improve asthma outcomes

Jun 24, 2008

New research has shown that up to 90 per cent of people on asthma medications are using their inhalers incorrectly leading to poor asthma control, increased hospital visits and increased cost of treatment.

Nano-particle research will benefit inhaler-users

Apr 29, 2005

Patients suffering from conditions as diverse as asthma and diabetes could benefit from research at Cardiff University to improve the effectiveness of drugs taken through spray inhalers. Scientists in the Welsh School of ...

Researcher uses GPS to find asthma causes

Mar 26, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- David Van Sickle is looking for a few pioneering asthmatics. He wants to attach a GPS device to their inhalers before they boldly go out into a spring world filled with allergens.

Recommended for you

Computer student on gesture control: Start experimenting

Mar 25, 2015

Back in 2012, authors from Microsoft Research and UbiComp Lab at University of Washington prepared their paper, "SoundWave: Using the Doppler Effect to Sense Gestures," for the Proceedings of the Association ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.