An asthma inhaler with GPS built in is being used by an American academic to track the triggers of asthma attacks and find out at risk locations around the globe.
We’re used to GPS in phones and watches, but here’s something equally useful. David Van Sickle, a scientist, is running a trial where asthma sufferers carry around an inhaler with a small GPS device fitted in. Anytime they need to take a puff, the GPS device registers it. Van Sickle hopes the GPS inhaler will reveal the causes of outbreaks, as clusters around a certain spot suggest something’s wrong with the air there.
“It will allow us to better target public-health interventions to the places and times when people are really suffering,” Van Sickle says of the GPS inhaler.
The GPS inhaler is only a prototype at the moment, but the Centres for Disease Controla and Prevention in the US is now funding the device, so keep an eye out for this one on pharmacy shelves in years to come.