The Asthmapolis device, called the Spiroscout, uses GPS to track the use of inhalers, automatically capturing the time/geographic location of symptoms.
By using the mobile and web-based application, patients and physicians can monitor asthma in daily life, take steps to control the disease, and prevent costly exacerbations.
By aggregating this anonymous, voluntarily-shared data about asthma symptoms, it’s possible to improve management and understanding of the disease, which helps scientists and public health agencies target interventions designed to reduce the burden of asthma.
What I find particularly interesting and impressive about the Asthmapolis announcement, according to Brian Dolan at MobiHealthNews, is it only took Asthmapolis one month to earn FDA approval. That is exceptionally quick and likely due to the careful attention paid by the company to early stage pilot programs with highly reputable partners, such as the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF).
I can imagine these partnerships gave the company a large enough footprint in a local community of asthmatic patients to gather the data needed to establish its product’s value for patients. It will be interesting to see how quickly this device can become the standard in asthma treatment.
“We are thrilled to have achieved this important milestone to support our mission of providing tools to help patients and their healthcare providers better understand and control their asthma symptoms,” noted Inger Couture, Chief Regulatory Officer of Asthmapolis, adding
“Despite all we know about asthma and how to treat it, the majority of patients still do not have the disease under control, and traditional approaches to self-management have been time-consuming and complicated. The Asthmapolis technology makes it much easier to track symptoms and use of metered dose inhalers, allowing patients, their families, and their doctors to gain a valuable new perspective of the disease.”
“In addition to driving better patient-physician communication about asthma management, the tool also gives physicians the ability to quickly identify how patients in their population are doing and take steps to help patients get their disease under control,” said David Van Sickle, co-founder and CEO of Asthmapolis. “Our mission is to make it easier for patients and their physicians to do a better job of managing asthma with less effort than traditionally required.”
“Asthmapolis is a novel system devised to facilitate what could be termed ‘health networking’ between the patient and the healthcare system,” noted Robert F. Lemanske, Jr., M.D., who heads the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “The geographic tracking of inhaler use can provide novel information regarding environmental factors that trigger acute events in individual patients. Avoidance of such environments would further improve overall asthma control and reduce healthcare costs.”