Inhalers for asthmatics getting a GPS update

Shane McGlaun - Apr 15, 2011, 5:11 am CDT
Inhalers for asthmatics getting a GPS update

Years back before I became a full time geek I worked in the hospital for over a decade mostly with people that had breathing problems like asthma. The thing with asthma is that the triggers can vary greatly for many people and the first thing you need to do to control your asthma is to figure out what triggers your attacks and avoid it.

The inhaler has been around for years and while they all look basically the same, there are many different medications. What all inhalers do have in common is that they do not store any detail on when they are used. A company called Asthmapolis has a cool new inhaler that uses GPS. The point of adding a GPS device on the inhaler is that it can see when the user activates the inhaler and then map it and compare the data to the thousands of other asthmatics to see if attacks are commonly occurring in one place.

The idea is that if the attacks are happening near some sort of industry the trigger of the asthma attacks can be identified and possibly stopped. The system would also allow the user to know more precisely, what their triggers are too. For instance if you have asthma and use your inhaler at 3:30 each day in the office you might correlate that with the time of the day you make copies and then realize the ozone and toner dust is a trigger.

[via Economist]

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