Qualcomm collaboration to focus on personalizing pediatric asthma therapy

Qualcomm and Rady Children's Hospital (San Diego, Calif.) have joined forces to launch a 3G-enabled kit for monitoring the activities of asthmatic children, according to an announcement. 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.

"The Wireless Reach-funded research project uses 3G-enabled mobile monitoring devices and web-based applications linked to a patient's meter dose inhaler medications to automatically record via a 3G network the date, time and location of asthmatic inhaler use," states the announcement. "The goal of the project is to determine if these indicators can be correlated to the patient's heart rate, respiratory rate and activity, better individualizing therapy. The combined system also uses GPS tracking to provide insight to potential trigger areas and patterns where asthma symptoms occur."

Fifty patients between the ages of seven and 17 will be 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.

"The project collaborators hope that as patients learn more about asthma symptoms, their rescue medication use and other trends in individual biometric data, they will be able to adjust their medications based on their unique action plan," according to the announcement.

Patients and their families will have online access to the information through the Asthmapolis mobile apps and patient dashboard. They will be able to see trends in patient inhaler use over time. They will also receive personalized feedback and education based on the patient's physician-provided action plan via email reports, messaging or online viewing. Clinicians will be able to access the ZephyrLIFE Home portal to view wireless vital sign data which is contextualized with patient activity, movement and posture.

A recent study from the Georgia Institute of Technology has found that simple, daily SMS text messages asking pediatric asthma patients about their symptoms and providing knowledge about their condition can lead to improved health outcomes. For the study, researchers randomly assigned 30 asthmatic children from a private pediatric pulmonology clinic in Atlanta into three groups--a control group that did not receive any SMS messages; a group that received text messages on alternate days; and a group that received texts every day.

To learn more:
- read the announcement

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