Asthma is a respiratory problem characterized by difficulty in breathing because of the narrowing of respiratory air passages. It is a reversible condition which gets worse by factors that trigger it such as weather changes, exposure to some allergens, exercise, etc.
Is asthma caused by allergies?
Asthma allergy is very common, but there are many other reasons that cause asthma. Asthma can be caused by:
- Hay fever
- Cold air
A person with the family history of asthma allergy is at a major risk of having Asthma triggered.
Technologies that help manage Asthma and other allergies
New technological treatments can help reduce and minimize the effect of Asthma and other allergies. Here are the technologies that help manage Asthma and other allergies:
1. Air purifier
If the environment is not clean and healthy with air .”, Then it gets difficult for a person to breathe in. Such an environment can cause asthma and other allergies. An air purifier is one of the best, simple and home-based available treatments for asthma and other allergies.
Purpose of Air purifier:
The purpose of Air purifier is to let a person breathe comfortably and as effortlessly as possible.
Some of the air purifiers are as follows:
- HEPA air purifiers:
HEP air purifiers are the most famous type of purifiers.
How do they work?
In these purifiers, thin dense glass fibers are utilized that allow small particles to pass through while trapping the larger ones.
HEPA air purifiers trap 99.7% of polluted airborne particles.
- UV air purifier:
It uses laser for its purification process.
How does it work?
UV air purifier deploys UV rays to remove and eliminate germs. It also extracts and stops the polluted air entering the room. They are most typically used in hospitals and other professional settings.
3. Smart Inhalers
Smart inhalers are defined as “devices providing data wirelessly through the cloud, internet, or mobile apps.”
Smart inhalers consist of sensors which let you record when you took your medicines. Nowadays, there are Bluetooth supported smart inhalers that can also be connected with a smart device. An app on your mobile phone can receive and read data from your cellular phone inhaler.
The data can be shared with the doctors.
Smart inhalers include mouthpieces with integrated electronics which gives the drug according to the correct dosage. Some of the smart inhalers are also capable of reminding the patient when to take a dose. It also guides them on how to use the inhalers properly.
The digital sensors also accurately determine the frequency and accuracy of the inhalers’ use — some of the vendor’s state that these sensors can reduce and eliminate the risk of Asthma by up to 60%.
Advantages of smart inhalers:
- Improved quality of life
- Better control over Asthma
- Enhancing patient participation
- Well-versed decision making for clinicians
3. Hypoallergenic Bedding
Hypoallergenic Bedding is one of the most practical air purifiers. It is necessary for patients who are suffering from Asthma or other allergies to have this type of bedding as it provides a clean environment for sleep.
How does it work?
Dust particles can get trapped into the conventional sheets and comforters while Hypoallergenic materials are tightly woven. It does not permit any space for the polluted particles.
The wearable medical devices are very handy healthcare monitoring devices. Wearable technology plays a vital role in medical and healthcare technology. In the healthcare sector, more applications of the wearable devices are coming. The market of the wearable devices is on the rise.
Wearable sensors are one of the most significant developments in the sector of health technology. The wearable sensor is a combination of wearable objects and biosensors. These devices can be worn on the body like bandages, rings, clothes, smart watches, tattoos, jewelry, etc.
However, a biosensor is a device that is made up of transducer and biosensor reader device. Wearable Biosensors have basically developed the two-way communication between the doctor and the patient.
Some of the Asthma wearable sensors are as follow:
- Wristbands wearable device
Wristbands wearable device has been developed to help the patient to restrain the Asthma attacks. The wristband monitors motion, heart rate and oxygen in the blood and coordinates this data with the environmental factors that can guide and activate Asthma warnings.
This device also conveys data wirelessly to the computers where software collects and records the data.
- Patch wearable device
Patch is also a type of a sensor. It controls the respiratory rate, skin impedance and wheezing in the lungs.
Like other wearable devices, this device also transfers data wirelessly to the computers where software gathers and records the data.
- ADAMM wearable device
ADAMM stands for an Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management.
- ADAMM keepS people healthy by guiding them about their breathing problems.
- To reduce Asthma sickness and deaths.
- This would reduce and decrease the use of emergency medications and prevent ER trips.
ADAMM can be easily customized. It is supposed to track and signal some things that might indicate worsening of someone’s Asthma. For instance, the ADAMM will record the number of coughs and their frequency. This is significant for someone with cough-variant Asthma, who many times do not experience wheeze. It can also record respiration rate and heart rate of the patient.
It sends this information to a smartphone app or web portal that a parent could view. It can also be sent to a confidential web site that a doctor could access, with permission. It is capable of recording while the patient is using an inhaler and is useful in increasing compliance as it sends medication reminders.
Immunotherapy removes and eliminates the symptoms and warnings of Asthma and other allergies. It is one of the most radical techniques. Immunotherapy must be authorized and advised by the doctor.
How does it work?
It consists of injection of a small dose of the substance that is diluted with saline. It also enhances a person’s immunity to the specific allergen. It is done every week with different allergen concentration.
The maintenance or constant level of allergen is achieved after four months of injection. After 3-4 weeks shot, the interval is increased. The therapy is stopped after six years.
6. Web-based communication
Websites and mobile-based platforms are helping asthma patient in a way that they can self-manage their health condition. In this platform, the whole family can get involved and find out about their family member’s health condition.
7. Bronchial Thermoplasty
How does it work?
Bronchial Thermoplasty burns off the overgrown muscles in airways by using radio waves through wires that are lowered down into the patient’s lungs. These radio waves then burn the overgrown portion of the muscles in the airways. With the reduced amount of this muscular tissue, airways are kept open, and hence, the patient can breathe with patent airways. It can reduce the need for allergy medication.
8. Clinic-based telemedicine
Clinic-based telemedicine offers high-level care to the patients. It is like a patient portal that basically refers to a system or program. This system or program has a central portal that acts as a gateway to the functionality of the system. It helps the users find what they are looking for.
Portal technology in healthcare means the online patients’ access to their health information. Their personal information is present on websites, the access to which every patient has via a secure username and passwords.
It also provides:
- Lab results.
- Doctor notes.
- Patient health history.
- Discharge dates.
9. Tracking devices and mobile applications
Asthma patients can download a variety of apps that can help them manage their asthma symptoms and warnings.
Mobile phone app acts as a means to educate asthma patients. These apps are available at a very low price. Asthma Patients can also use the app to check the symptoms of an Asthma attack. Some of the apps provide home remedies for controlling Asthma. They also provide Asthma reduction tips.
It’s like a remote patient monitoring acting as a means to coordinate outside the doctor’s office in the patient room.
Remote Patient monitoring programs have the potential to reduce the cost of hospital readmissions. It focuses on the patient-generated data from home through mobile health platforms. It connects the patients to the care providers team.
A care provider can keep track of the patient around the clock; gather data on health activity, diet, and exercise, a health record that would focus on the patient’s visit to the hospital. A care provider can use this program to get care management tips and health advice.
10. Online communities
Online communities have been designed specifically for people suffering from the same situation or disease to interact with each other. They basically share their experiences with each other that help them cope up with their situation.
These online communities not only help patients in the medication but also reduce their stress, and anxiety.
There are some devices which can help patients manage their asthma in a better and modern way. These devices are actually a very smart way of dealing with breathing problems. They can live with a new lifestyle with the help of these devices.
Inspired by: Metro East Allergist