AMC Health provides telemonitors to NIH asthma study

Under a Small Business Innovation Research grant awarded to Delaware-based Asthma Management Systems from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, AMC Health has announced that its telemonitoring platform will be used in a feasibility study to improve asthma control "by monitoring when patients use their asthma medications and intervening as soon as a problem develops."

According to New York, N.Y. based AMC Health, the company will provide SmartInhalers from Nexus6 for half of the patients in the study, which will enroll patients who have had multiple emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to uncontrolled asthma. The telemonitors clip onto the inhalers that dispense two types of medication that patients with severe asthma take--a controller that is taken every day and a rescue medication for short-term relief when breathing becomes difficult.

"With the AMC Health telemonitoring platform, the study team will know immediately if a patient doesn't take the controller medication as prescribed, or is using the rescue inhaler too often, and can help stabilize the patient before a full-blown asthma attack forces him or her to go to the emergency room," said Andrew Weinstein, M.D., CEO of Asthma Management Systems and principal investigator for the study, in a written statement.

In related news, in August Qualcomm and Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego announced that they joined forces to launch a 3G-enabled kit for monitoring the activities of asthmatic children. The initiative is aimed at reducing costs from emergency room visits and hospitalizations, while improving outcomes and determining whether asthma-related therapy can be personalized based on a patient's physiology.

Fifty patients between the ages of seven and 17 are being recruited into the project from the pulmonary and asthma/allergy clinics at Rady Children's. Each participating patient and their family will receive a remote monitoring kit and training on how to use it. The kit will include two Asthmapolis sensors that snap on inhaled medications to track use; one Zephyr BioPatch device that will track heart rate, respiratory rate and activity; and one Qualcomm Life 2net Hub.

The devices will utilize Bluetooth technology to wirelessly send patient information to the 2net Hub, which will then leverage the 3G network to send the data to the patient's care provider at Rady Children's.

To learn more:
- read the announcement