Thanks to the latest technology, you have the ability to stay in touch with friends, browse the Internet, and listen to your favorite songs all on one device. But did you know that you can also use your smartphone to manage your health?

There are a number of innovative apps currently underway that can make monitoring your asthma, identifying what's triggering your symptoms, and communicating with your doctor easier than ever.

New Asthma App

A new personal record system application is currently being developed by Virginia Commonwealth University and RTI International. This tool, which is part of a larger health project sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will make it possible for you to incorporate the best practices in asthma management into your daily activities right through your smartphone or other electronic portable device.

Some of the features include the ability to:

  • Keep track of your symptoms
  • Report your medication usage
  • Check air pollution levels
  • Record your allergy symptoms

Your doctor will be able to view your entries on his office computer, providing a valuable overview of how your asthma is responding between office visits.

New Portable Sensor Identifies Triggers

Another noteworthy portable electronic device, which comes from the Georgia Tech Research Institute, is a stand-alone portable sensor that's small in size, but big on action. The pocket-sized system continually measures and records the air content, including temperature, humidity, gases, and other allergens. When you experience asthma symptoms while wearing it, you simply make a note of the exact time. Then medical technicians will be able to comb through the recorded data to determine which triggers you were exposed to when your asthma kicked in. By using this portable electronic device, you can pinpoint the exact causes of your asthma in such a precise way, it will take the guesswork out of asthma management.

New Inhaler and GPS System Maps Your Symptoms

Another innovative effort relies on an inhaler and a GPS system in order to gain a better understanding of asthma triggers. This project, which is led by a scientist from the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, looks at location, rather than air makeup, in order to narrow in on what's causing symptoms. When you experience a flare-up and need to use your inhaler, the GPS will note the exact location so your doctor can see what patterns exist.

What You Can Do

Next time you visit your doctor, be sure to ask about these types of asthma management tools and find out what is appropriate for your situation. Remember that with the help of such portable electronic devices and asthma apps, it will soon be easier than ever to improve your efforts to manage asthma.




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"Using GPS to Track Asthma Attacks." University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. University of Wisconsin, 2 April 2009. Web, 16 March 2011.

"Pervasive Asthma Monitoring System PAMS: A Health Systems Approach to Remote Monitoring of Asthma." Georgia Institute of Technology., n.d. 15 March 2011. 

"RTI International to Build Personal Health Record Application for Patients With Asthma." Research Triangle Park International. RTI International, 3 March 2010. Web. 13 March 2011.
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Project HealthDesign. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2010. Web. 13 March 2011.