About 5 percent of asthma patients suffer from frequent and severe sudden chest tightness that disrupts breathing, often leading to an emergency room visit and hospitalization.The condition can best be monitored and treated in a clinical setting, but that’s not where asthma patients live their lives. The challenge is to bring the sophistication of the clinic to asthma sufferers in their everyday lives and activities, because anywhere and anytime is where and when asthma attacks occur.
University of Virginia engineering professors Daniel Quinn and John Lach, working with UVA asthma physician and Carter Center Member, Dr. Larry Borish, believe they have found a way to do this. They are developing and testing innovative sensor systems that, once fully designed and implanted in a patient’s trachea, should help detect sudden asthma attacks before they happen, allowing for quick preventive medicative treatment by the sufferer on site, wherever that might be: in the home, on the road, or even on a playing field.
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