It’s estimated that over 300 million people worldwide, and over 24 million Americans, suffer from asthma. New gadgets are available and are being developed, to help people manage their asthma. Special ‘smart’ gadgets help drug companies develop new treatments, by using new digital tools to collect information.
The data collected by these gadgets, and by companies conducting clinical trials, is much more accurate, than ever before, and means asthma can be treated, and studied, more efficiently.
Smart Inhalers: Sensors track use
Traditionally Asthma is treated with two types of medicine. One is a preventative medication, and the other a ‘rescue’ medication, used to treat an asthma attack.GSK inhalers are paired with a smart device that tracks the use of both types. Especially, during a trial, for example, if the rescue medication is being used too frequently, then the effectiveness of the prevention medication can be questioned. (Propeller Health’s Respiratory Monitoring Sensor)
The same system can be used to check, and monitor, that patients are taking their daily medication. Many people claim to use their inhalers daily but have not.
Wing: digital lung function monitor
A Wing is a pocket- sized portable lung monitoring device that works with an app for a smartphone.
CareTRx: Smart Inhaler Cap
It is a smart tracking cap, which fits over an inhaler. It works with an app that tracks use and lights up when it’s time for a dose.
AirSonea: Smart Monitor
It is a device and App used to monitor wheezing. It is held against the trachea and used to check breathing. Personal data is also stored and can be sent straight to a doctor.
HET ( Nanotechnology)
In the US, the National Science Foundation’s Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors And Technologies (ASSIST), at North Carolina University are developing a wearable tracking system – Health and Environmental Tracker.
There is a wristband and a patch to wear on your chest. Sensors measure everything from heart rate, blood oxygen levels, patient movement, as well as environmental levels – the humidity, temperature, ozone levels, and air quality.
There is a spirometer which patients breathe into during the day, to check lung function.
The software will enable users to synchronize their HET to their smartphones, including advanced prediction software, which will assist in the management of asthma. The idea is that it may be possible to predict an oncoming asthma attack and take preventative measures. These could be as simple as moving out of an environment that is a trigger or stopping doing an activity.