Skip to comments.Monitoring asthma with mobile phones
Posted on 11/06/2009 11:11:39 PM PST by neverdem
In the future, asthmatic children may be able to monitor their condition using breath analysing sensors built into their mobile phones. Thanks to a UK company who have embedded a carbon nanotube sensor, which can monitor nitric oxide (NO) levels in exhaled breath, into mobiles.
'200 different chemicals are exhaled in your breath,' says Victor Higgs, managing director of Applied Nanodetectors, during a demonstration of his company's latest prototype at the Nano and emerging technologies forum 09 in London this week. And these can be used to monitor and diagnose a wide range of diseases.
Nanotube sensors inside mobile phones could potentially be used to monitor asthma
The mobile phone prototype looks like a normal phone except for an additional small round hole in the top right hand corner - that is indistinguishable from a speaker. Air breathed into this hole flows down a tube to a carbon nanotube and silicon-based sensor that Higgs declined to give any more information on for proprietary reasons. After five seconds the phone displays both the amount of nitric oxide in the user's breath in parts per billion and a traffic light warning icon indicating if the concentration is normal (green), slightly elevated (amber) or high (red).
Higgs explains that the end goal is for the data to be simultaneously transmitted to a healthcare server, automatically updating the patient's medical records (the software for this part is already in place, and also on display this week). The server will then send the data to a doctor for analysis, and if concerned they would feedback to the patient using text or e-mail.
The idea of having a handheld, portable breath monitoring device has been proposed before, but this is the first mobile phone based device. 'We are the world first,' says Higgs. Compliance is a major problem in any type of monitoring system, the majority of asthma suffers are children and most carry phones all of the time, so this led to the idea of combining the two, he explains.
'The objective of the diagnostic tool is that you monitor every day, because it is monitoring direct inflammation of the airways. So before you even have the symptoms you know you have to change your medication,' he says. Asthma is currently not monitored and here lies one of the company's major hurdles: 'One of the challenges here is a cultural thing, getting people used to monitoring.' And it isn't just the patients that need to change, but also health service as the infrastructure for an integrated electronic healthcare system does not exist in the UK. It is putting this in place that means that Higgs is not able to predict how long it will take for this device to reach the market place.
The question of cost is equally difficult to answer, although Higgs does say that he expects it to be affordable. 'If you look at the mobile phone concept, mobile phones cost hundreds of pounds and you pay a service contract. So parents may pay a service contract for a child to have regular breath testing.'
calm, shallow breathing.
Is that first hand testimony or an anecdote?
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list. Anyone can post any unposted link as they see fit.
I have ingrown toenails.
It is an acute, not chronic, condition.
I demand equal bandwidth.
You know it just seems like sometimes we carry things WAY over the line!
Read a short story called “The Happy Breed” by John Sladek where everyone is continually monitored and drugged into submissiveness.
I never thought anything like that would happen.
Is that first hand testimony or an anecdote?
We are all unique.
And our family reserves the right to only seek hospital level care if in case of severe trauma ie leg falling of or heart attack.
All other daily care we have been very fortunate to have been trained by great physicians during the time of trauma in the past.
Just had a family aquaintance diagnosed with throat Cancer....that person chose to smoke for a lifetime.
So sorry but it was a choice knowing the odds.
My hips are beat, so sorry but doing the labor of my passion and extra weight will Do that.
Preventive care and such oh yum those oyster shooters were so good yesterday btw did not feel like having sex (Catholic Chaste but human) but sure got a charge of energy.
And economic too. We had a hoity toity fund raiser (in local community) not affordable to us laborers (yearly ta do) so we went down and purchased our (same provider of oysters state/nation wide) own and celebrated a good cause.
BTW sarcasm tag on previous post.
My pride in life is a shallow breathing person and he is also a quad on O2/Mist trached and a whole gamma of therapies like Vit D (we live in a rain forrest) loves massage therapy by a LMT (who doesnt) and a whole lotta folks who socially love him but a few get the honor to do the around the clock care to keep him healthy and a lil run around independant fellow.
Thank God we only have to go to the Docs for a well check appt twice a year.
Kinda like going to the eye doc with perfect vision. : )
I share too much. : ) Now gotta go change that canula.
Caffeine can bring temporary relief during an asthma attack.
But not a longterm solution.