NWPC Blog

New Technology For Asthma Treatment

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 1 in 13 Americans have asthma. Asthma research and studies have been ongoing for decades. At times, collecting the right information can be complicated. But with new technology and research, data collection is much simpler and more convenient.  If you are among the millions who live with asthma, then you understand how crucial asthma management is for your health and wellbeing. Thanks to modern technology and research, there are a wealth of smart inhalers, asthma apps, and more to help you take charge of your wellness! If you are new to the wonders of asthma management tech, our Portland practitioners share some of the best devices on the market today.

1. Smart Inhaler Technology

Inhalers are integral to managing asthma. Short-term types deliver much-needed medicine and help open airways in the event of an episode. Controlling inhalers help keep symptoms in check before they become an issue. Both are crucial to reducing breathing problems. 

However, some studies suggest that an astounding 90% of the time, users aren’t using inhalers properly–meaning you could be receiving less medicine than you should be getting. This is where smart inhalers come in! Tiny sensors mounted to your inhaler compile essential data about your usage.

Propeller, a leading smart inhaler producer, syncs the sensor to an app that allows you to get real-time information on everything from usage amounts to schedules.  It can also give you alerts about weather and air quality in your area. Remarkably, according to Propeller’s internal studies, users were able to lessen their use of rescue inhalers over time. You can utilize the app both via Google Play or through Apple Apps. The cost is typically sponsored through health providers, pharmaceutical companies, and benefit managers, so there can be little to no out-of-pocket cost.

Smart inhalers also measure information such as  frequency of use and time of day when used, which  is valuable for comparing progress before and after medication. This also provides information for future technology improvements. 

2. Interactive Spirometers for Kids

Convincing kids to monitor their lung capacity and breathing with a spirometry device is no easy task. Thanks to Aluna’s at-home spirometer, kids can now have fun while managing asthma and other lung conditions. As the kids blow into the tube, an interactive game complete with rockets blasting off pops up on a smartphone. For parents, this techy spirometer can be used to communicate important medical details to their child’s primary physician and can go a long way to preventing severe asthma episodes. Aluna’s tool provides hospital quality results, can be easily charged via USB, and connects to Bluetooth. Pricing starts at $199.00, with additional monthly fees for the app.

3. Apps and Mobile Websites

Smartphones are all around us. Nearly everyone uses one for everything from phone calls to exercise regimens. As you might have guessed, there are plenty of apps out there to assist and support patients in managing their asthma:

  • Asthma MD: Available for iPhone and Android users, this app allows patients to monitor and log essential asthma info like triggers, medication, and asthma events. The data is stored and can be presented in an easy-to-understand graph. Users can also opt-in to be part of asthma studies. And it’s free!
  • Asthma Buddy: Developed by the National Asthma Council Australia, Asthma Buddy is a free mobile website that functions similarly to an installable app. You can customize your profile, track your medication, and even download educational videos. It’s designed for children with asthma and their caregivers.
  • AsthmaTrack: This app provides an in-depth look at all your asthma-related routines, from daily reports and symptom tracking to medication logs and more. It is only available for iPhones and the fee to download is a little over $2.00.

Apps are not only useful for managing asthma, but they are also valuable for improving the resources available for doctors and patients. In a wide scale study in 2015, data collected from asthma apps found that heat, pollen and wildfires are significant triggers for asthma exacerbation episodes. Knowing this, future app designs from the study were created with a focus on being able to identify users’ triggers and included information on how to avoid them. 

Learn More About Asthma Treatment and Prevention at NWPC

While new technologies can support your wellness efforts, it’s still important to see your primary care physician and assess your overall health and asthma severity. Our practitioners at Northwest Primary Care are available to assist you with all health concerns and needs. Make an in-person appointment at one of our Portland, Oregon clinics, or visit us virtually, with telehealth options

Join in the study and treatment of Asthma:
Research continues to be an important stage in developing better asthma management tools and techniques. Would you like to participate in an asthma-related study? Northwest Research Center will be conducting research centered around asthma. Contact them for eligibly requirements and information.