Wearable Tech: The Future For Allergy and Asthma

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What if, one day, your watch could alert you of the early signs of an asthma attack? Or anaphylaxis? Or what if your bracelet could detect whether an allergen is present in the food you’re served? Whether a watch, a patch, a bracelet, or another wearable device, it appears as if wearable tech is the future for those with asthma or allergies that can cause anaphylactic reactions.

Can you imagine?

The last – and only time – we had to call 911 for a severe asthma attack was an early morning rodeo. My son came in to our room around 4:30 gasping for air; a nebulizer treatment later, and he still could not catch his breath. So we called for an ambulance, put some non-sleep clothes on and rushed to the front porch to wait for the paramedics for what seemed like hours.

In those moments, I was panicked and disoriented. I didn’t know what to do because this attack crept up on us while we were sleeping. And by the time we knew he was having trouble, he was in the throes of a severe attack.

Having a wearable patch—currently named the Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management and demonstrated at the 2016 CES—to alert him that his body was beginning to struggle could have saved us from the rush of throwing the nebulizer together and unsettling realization that it was time to change from our pj’s because a hospital visit was on the horizon.

Very happy to be featured in Tech Times – in an article by Brian Heater. http://bit.ly/1JACkfv

Posted by Health Care Originals, Inc. on Friday, January 8, 2016

 

Two other forms of wearable tech for food allergies and those prone to anaphylaxis are also in the works.

Imagine this: Your child begins to experience anaphylactic symptoms, what do you do? For many of us—unless it’s clear what’s going on in our child’s body, or our action plan calls for immediate administration of epinephrine—trying to figure out exactly how to respond in the case of a reaction can be unnerving and confusing.

Enter a wearable tech device that monitors a person’s vitals to give a clear indication of how the body is responding to an allergen. Add to it the possibility of the device automatically injecting the person experiencing the allergic reaction. Creating this device is the dream of a family that lost their daughter to an allergic reaction. How generous it is of Abbie Benford’s family to channel their grief into something that could one day save lives.

Finally, imagine being able to eat out with little to no care in the world. Short a cure, which all of us are rooting for, the Allergy Amulet would be a great start for families like ours. Rather than replace the due diligence of asking solid questions when you eat out, the device would be a backup to ensure that what is served is, indeed safe. Wear it like jewelry, and test your food for the presence of your allergens, and bam! You’re good to go. This interview with the co-founder of the Allergy Amulet gives detailed insight into the design and goal of this elegant wearable tech.

This kind of technology takes time to develop and test and perfect. But it’s worth highlighting, I think, that people are committed to making strides in keeping asthmatics and severely allergic folks safe.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister not too long after our 911 episode with my son’s asthma attack. She had asthma as a child. I asked her what it was like to have an asthma attack. She described a particularly severe attack she had simply by saying, “My lungs were locked. There was no way I could catch a breath; I felt like I was going to die.”

My heart broke hearing that, knowing how many of our loved ones have felt this way. I hope that, beyond finding a cure for severe allergies and asthma, these wearable tech concepts, and all of the devices yet to come, offer our loved ones a quality of life that they have not yet known.

Tiffany Self

Tiffany Self is a wife, mom to "Z", and a lover of words. In an ironic twist, she is an English class dropout who now writes for a living. Tiffany is a freelancer in the Chicago suburbs by way of Seattle and Southern Oregon. She writes about her journey of parenting a child with multiple severe food allergies, asthma, and environmental allergies. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

1 Comment to Wearable Tech: The Future For Allergy and Asthma

  1. Hi,

    Is there a device out there that I can wear or easily carry around with me and it cleans the air around me. That way I only breath clean air free of any allergens? Where I live it’s hard to escape such allergens. They’re everywhere! And I’m want to hopefully stop applying the nasal spray everyday and taking 2 antihistamines everyday as my sneezing eventually turns to coughing when my throat gets really irritated. I’ve been searching online on this device but could not find any. I cam across them on like 2 flights. It was in their inflight magazine. But they did not have any in stock. I hope you can advice and lead me in the right direction as to what type is the best one. Thank you very much.

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