asthma

Asthma inhalers with tracking devices: The future of American Big Brother healthcare

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: asthma inhaler, tracking device, health care

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Delicious
(NaturalNews) Big Brother is finding new and inventive ways to keep track of you these days, thanks to an explosion in technology, and that now includes the healthcare industry, once considered a bastion of privacy.

According to Wired magazine, a new "smart" asthma inhaler, which is designed to work in conjunction with a computer suite, allows health professions to track when a patient is having an asthma attack - including tracking the location of the patient when the attack is occurring.

The suite, called Asthmapolis and which is being sold to consumers as a safety feature (sound familiar?), is supposed to help both patients and healthcare providers alike "better monitor the behavior of asthma," Wired reported.

'Tracking' asthmatics - For their own good, of course

The key to the system is a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that patients attach to their inhaler. Every time the inhaler is used, the sensor records both the time and the patient's location.

"Using a smartphone or base station, that information is in turn transferred to Asthmapolis' servers where the data can be used by individuals to track their response to treatments or by public health officials to spot and map patterns and outbreaks," reports Wired.

David Van Sickle, founder and CEO of Asthmapolis, said he was inspired to the concept during his work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where the federal health agency investigated outbreaks of respiratory illness, and then once more when he worked in clinical practice.

"There's a ton of variability of asthma within micro-environments," says Van Sickle. Experts say getting data about where and how often patients use their puffers is not only vital to obtain but difficult to collect.

"Historically in asthma we haven't done much except provide patients with a rationale for keeping pen and paper and encouraging them to bring them to their next visit," Van Sickle said.

The problem is, he and others say, that few patients like to do this because they view it as one more burden that comes with their disease. That leaves them either forgetting to write down their information or trying to guess.

"We know those diaries are often inaccurate. They're generally fabricated," Van Sickle said.

The former CDC clinician says the same problem occurs at a public health level; there is a tendency to record where people live when there is an outbreak. "The assumption is that all that happened at their house, which is a bad assumption to make," he said.

Asthmapolis is designed to close the data gap by making collection of information part of taking the medicine. The puffer sensor is installed on top of the device; when the patient presses down to inhale the medicine, the sensor detects that and a GPS system and clock record the event, documenting time and place.

"Asthma patients are a tough demographic," says Van Sickle. "We've got kids, older folks, people where it's work related, people who need it when they exercise, and people who don't use it often."

Since the data collection is automated, that gives health providers a more accurate picture of when their patients are having difficulty with their disease - and when they are not.

"One benefit that sensor-driven products have is that you know when somebody has used the inhaler and you know when they haven't," Van Sickle said. "It makes the absence of data meaningful."

But there is that issue of privacy.

No mandate to track - yet

Worse, this kind of insta-data approach is a developing trend in healthcare, industry insiders say. Asthmapolis joins other firms like Massive Health that use what they call "indirect surveillance" and data collection to get patient information.

"Data from the medications and how often people use them is the most important marker," says Van Sickle.

The goal, he adds, is to allow health providers access to what they believe will become a more accurate picture of what's going on with their patients - regardless of the privacy implications, apparently.

"Our company succeeds to the extent that we make it easier for patients to manage asthma," Van Sickle said, adding that it was important to make the sensor unobtrusive (perhaps so the patient forgets he's being tracked?).

"We wanted it to be like a machine that helps them accomplish work rather than adding to the day-to-day burden," he said.

There isn't a federal healthcare mandate - yet - to use such "unobtrusive" medical tracking devices, so patients still have a choice over whether or not they want to be tracked.

Sources:

http://www.theblaze.com

http://www.wired.com/design/2012/11/asthmapolis/

http://asthmapolis.com/

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Asthma inhaler at FETCH.news
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.