Apr 17, 2009 | 1
Global positioning system (GPS) devices are everywhere these days—in cars, cell phones, dog collars—and now, even in asthma inhalers. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison recently launched a study using GPS devices to monitor where and when patients use their inhalers, a technology they hope will uncover unrecognized triggers of asthma symptoms.
Scientists have long known that environmental factors such as pollen, cigarette smoke, and air pollutants aggravate symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. But the leader of the study David Van Sickle, an epidemiologist at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health says it's likely there are unknown environmental culprits. Figuring out exactly when and where asthma attacks occur can help pinpoint these aggravators, he adds.
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