Asthmapolis to deploy 500 connected inhalers in Louisville

By Brian Dolan
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AsthmapolisAt the HIMSS 2012 meeting in February members of the Asthmapolis team told MobiHealthNews that its inhaler tracking technology would soon find a wide deployment in Louisville, Kentucky. A recent report in the Louisville Courier-Journal detailed the Asthmapolis deployment, which is set to go live some time this May with 500 people. Previous Asthmapolis programs only included a few dozen participants. The Louisville study is expected to last about one year.

Asthmapolis, Norton Healthcare, and IBM are all teaming up to help the city try to figure out what's driving the city's asthma problem, according to the newspaper report. Some 500 residents in Louisville will be equipped with Asthmapolis' tracking device, which takes a time stamp every time the inhaler is used and also is able to track location if the user has a GPS and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone nearby.

According to the report, more than 100,000 people in the Louisville area are affected by asthma. A 2009 survey found that 15 percent of adults polled in the city said they had asthma, slightly higher than the state's 14.9 percent and more than a percentage point higher than the national average of 13.5 percent.

IBM plans to send a team of experts to the city to help the program's administrators figure out how to crunch the collected data, which will be mashed up with air quality, pollen outbreaks, and traffic congestion. Louisville often ranks high on national lists for pollen outbreaks, according to the report. The number of days that the city has exceeded federal smog standards reportedly tripled between 2005 and 2011, according to the newspaper report.

The study is being funded by Norton, Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation, and The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The University of Louisville's physicians are helping the program administrators determine which patients to invite.

More in the Courier-Journal report here.