Smart Inhalers

1) Issue: Health

2) Tech summary

  • The city of Louisville has launched a program called Air Louisville that collects data on when citizens with asthma use their inhalers.
  • The program makes use of “smart inhalers” from Propeller Health to record the time and location of inhaler use all over the city.
  • The mobile, real-time monitoring capabilities will allow public health experts to connect inhaler use to environmental exposures that cause attacks.
  • Eventually the program could become predictive enough to provide warnings to those with asthma to avoid specific areas where environmental factors are such that an attack is likely.
  • Article: “Monitoring Air Quality and the Impacts of Pollution” from Harvard’s “Data-Smart Cities” blog.

3) Stakeholders: patients with asthma, families of patients, public health experts, physicians and other healthcare workers, and insurance companies

4) Steps for deployment

  • Enroll patients with asthma in the program
  • Equip their inhalers with sensors from Propeller Health
  • Set up data collection and analysis teams

One thought on “Smart Inhalers

  1. I have had asthma since I was 3 and would definitely use this technology if it becomes available in the Northeast. This technology can supplement existing data (such as pollen levels) since asthma can be triggered by so many things. Though I could see data being skewed since asthma may be exercise induced, or someone goes to a friend’s house who has cats/dogs.


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