DENVER (CBS4)– Asthma is a chronic disease that affects 25 million adults and eight million children in the U.S. A cutting-edge asthma inhaler is helping doctors create a more accurate treatment plan that pins down a patient’s location and possible triggers around them.
Duffy Minges never leaves her home without her asthma inhaler.
“Anytime I went outside that was a given. I would notice that wow, it’s, I feel not so good anymore… harder to breathe,” said Minges.
Like many asthma sufferers, Minges didn’t know what was triggering her attacks so the 42-year-old enrolled in a clinical trial that’s testing a new high-tech inhaler.
A wireless sensor sits on top of a regular inhaler. Anytime a patient takes a puff, maps show when and where the inhaler was used and records how much medication was used. That information is sent to the doctor.
“With the device essentially the sensor becomes your diary electronically,” said Woodland Healthcare Dr. Rajan Merchant.
Researchers are hoping this high-tech inhaler will help them determine which areas are hot spots.
“It helps us isolate where they may be having problems,” said Merchant.
Merchant is testing the device for Asthmapolis which received FDA clearance last year.
After looking at data from Minges’ inhaler, doctors ordered more allergy tests to pinpoint her triggers.Now she’s on new medication.. and doesn’t have to use her inhaler as much.
“Now I can breathe. And I’m not as exhausted anymore,” said Minges.
She knows the Bermuda grass on her lawn and olive trees are big triggers to avoid outside.
In studies from Asthmapolis researchers have found more than 70 percent of patients improved control of their asthma after three months of using the system.