Predicting Asthma Attacks

Revolutionizing Asthma Management through Technological Advancements

If you live with asthma you'll understand the constant anxiety of an unpredictable asthma attack, which can disrupt daily life and lead to significant health setbacks.

Asthma New Zealand Board Member Dr. Amy Chan

However, imagine a world where, with the help of technology, you could foresee these attacks, empowering you to take preventive measures and continue your daily routine without interruption.

Dr. Amy Chan, Asthma NZ Board Member and a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Auckland and Auckland Medical Research Foundation, is at the forefront of a groundbreaking initiative that uses technology such as smart watches and smart peak flow meters to predict asthma attacks, identifies risk factors for attacks and enables you to be well prepared.

  1. Unveiling the Hidden Precursors of Asthma Attacks

Although an asthma attack may feel like it comes on suddenly, what we now know is that they are preceded by numerous subtle changes within the body that often go unnoticed. These small shifts in lung function and airway inflammation could eventually turn  into a full-blown asthma attack. For individuals living with asthma, the true impact of the condition is often realized only during these distressing episodes.

Predicting asthma attacks  presents a potential breakthrough in asthma management, enabling individuals to proactively identify and address the impending attack before they become too unwell. By identifying the early warning signs, patients and whānau  can take quicker action, thereby minimizing the severity of the attack and reducing the need for extensive recovery periods.

AsthmaPrediction Study

  1. The Groundbreaking Asthma Attack Prediction Study.

Dr. Amy Chan has embarked on an ambitious five-year study aimed at harnessing technology to predict asthma attacks. This groundbreaking research project represents the largest asthma prediction study worldwide, involving over 300 volunteers who will be monitored to gather essential data regarding the physiological changes preceding an asthma attack.

Dr. Chan's study seeks to create a real-time asthma attack risk monitoring system like a "crystal ball" that can empower patients to get insights into their risk an impending asthma attack. By collecting and analyzing diverse sets of data, including respiratory parameters, heart rate, medication patterns, environmental factors, and symptoms, a comprehensive picture of the body's pre- and post-attack state can be constructed. This multifaceted approach will enable the development of accurate predictive models capable of providing individuals with timely alerts and intervention strategies.

Asthma NZ - Spacer and Puffer

  1. Transforming Asthma Management and Improving Quality of Life

The ability to predict asthma attacks would revolutionize asthma management and significantly improve the lives of those living with the condition. The benefits of this technological advancement are far-reaching:

a. Reduced Sick Days and Enhanced Productivity: By empowering individuals to anticipate an approaching asthma attack, they can take preventive measures, potentially avoiding the need for sick leave or days off school. This, in turn, reduces the number of lost work hours due to unexpected asthma attacks and enhances overall productivity.

b. Improved Sleep Quality: Asthma attacks often disrupt sleep patterns, leaving individuals fatigued and less productive during the day. Predictive technology could alert individuals to impending attacks during the night, allowing for prompt intervention and uninterrupted sleep. Better sleep quality translates into improved overall well-being and higher levels of productivity.

c. Personalized Treatment and Self-Management: Predictive models can equip individuals with personalized insights into their asthma triggers and warning signs, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding their treatment plans and lifestyle choices. Patients can proactively adjust their medication, modify their environment, or seek medical advice, all with the aim of minimizing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

Dr. Chan says: "For so many years, decades, we have had our health being managed by others, whether that's by doctors, nurses or the hospital, we're often told what to do about our Asthma, without really understanding what's happening to our bodies. From this study, technology will allow us to get a window into how we are feeling and how we can take control and be empowered to look after our own health and our own asthma !"

Asthma New Zealand - Asthma Prediction Study

Dr. Amy Chan's pioneering research represents a significant step forward in the quest to predict asthma attacks. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, her study aims to empower individuals living with asthma to anticipate and mitigate the impact of these attacks on their daily lives. The outcomes of this research have the potential to transform asthma management, reduce sick days, and improve productivity

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