Asthmapolis is working with Dignity Health, formerly Catholic Healthcare West, to equip its Sacramento-based asthma patients with GPS-enabled inhalers that send real-time breathing data to physicians' smartphones. Asthmapolis is ramping up production of its device, a sensor that sits atop most inhalers, at a Wisconsin-based device manufacturing plant. The device was expected to launch last year.
The Asthmapolis device is ”small and lightweight," and "easy to mount securely on the end of most inhalers, and simple to transfer to a new canister,” according to the company. “Lights on the device let you know when it has detected use, and also show remaining battery level.”
Asthmapolis has also previously announced partnerships with organizations including the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch at the CDC as well as the California HealthCare Foundation.
At the end of last year, Asthmapolis announced plans to add connectivity to its device through the Qualcomm 2net platform.
Dignity Health, which is the fifth largest healthcare system in the US, recently ran a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting its deal with Asthmapolis. Here's how it explained the deal in the ad: "For instance, in Sacramento we’re providing asthma patients with GPS-enabled inhalers. This cutting-edge technology sends real-time breathing data to the mobile devices of the treating physician. They can then use that data to better manage the disease, resulting in fewer serious, expensive attacks. That not only helps save lives, it helps save a portion of the $56 billion spent annually in the U.S. on asthma care; patients with uncontrolled asthma require $3,000-$4,000 more in health care per year than patients who control this chronic disease."
Dignity concluded that the connected inhaler help it achieve "cost, quality, [and] access" objectives.
Back in April 2009 MobiHealthNews reported that Asthmapolis CEO David Van Sickle, then a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was developing a GPS add-on for asthmatics’ inhalers to map where and when environmental exposures cause asthma symptoms–as well as alert users and encourage them to puff on the “rescue inhaler.” The project was also aimed at mapping the unknown causes of asthma in the environment.
Asthmapolis also noted that it is also currently hiring an asthma educator, artist, and mobile app developer.