Study Aims to Curb Asthma Over-Medication

NBC published an article covering new research currently being carried out by Dr. John Mastronarde and his team at the Ohio State Medical Center. The study aims to find the optimal amount of medication for each asthma patient. This research is essential in the asthma medication space due to over-medication creating unnecessary costs and health hazards. The study will examine combinations of inhalers and medicines to find the most effective dose levels at various situations.

“With 26 million Americans taking asthma medicines at a cost of $150 million a day, a new study seeks to determine how to change the fact that many of those patients are taking too much medicine.

Dr. John Mastronarde and his colleagues at Ohio State University Medical Center are researching how to get patients on the lowest dose of asthma medicine possible.

He said the drugs can cost patients between $3 and $500 per month.

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The White House, Traffic Pollution and Asthma

Jeffrey Seyler, the president and CEO of the American Lung Association, recently posted an article on the Huffington Post regarding traffic pollution and lung problems. Pollution can cause or worsen asthma related symptoms, especially in adolescents. The EPA reports that approximately 50% of Americans live in constant threat from unhealthy air quality. In addition, around one third live in close proximity to major roadways filled with dangerous vehicle emissions. Currently the white house is proposing a solution that will regulate sulfur levels and vehicle emission standards thus forging a path to cleaner air. However, if the White House does not adopt the proposal within the month, it could delay for an entire year.

It’s a little hard to remember while we are currently in the late stages of a tough winter, but the smog season will soon be here. The air quality index will displace the wind chill index – and in many areas, people will be urged to stay indoors to flee the dirty air.

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Common Colds During Pregnancy Linked to Childhood Asthma

According to a recent study published in the February issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, women must be extra careful to stay “cold free” during their pregnancy. Researchers examined 513 pregnant women in Germany and their children. The women filled out questionnaires in increments until the children reached the age of five. By controlling variables such as the presence of pets in the house, results show that women who had a cold three or more times during pregnancy were twice as likely to have a child who develops asthma before the age of 5.

“Women that are pregnant may want to take extra precaution around those that are sniffling and sneezing this winter. According to a new study published today, the more common colds and viral infections a woman has during pregnancy, the higher the risk her baby will have asthma.

The study, published in the February issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, found a mother’s infections and bacterial exposure during pregnancy affect the in utero environment, thus increasing a baby’s risk of developing allergy and asthma in childhood.

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Videogames and Healthcare

Videogames are becoming an integral part of education, work and health. Companies are designing new ways to keep their employees motivated, and are providing similar options to students. Furthermore, non-adherence in healthcare is being targeted as an area that videogames, or gamification is particular, can improve upon.

A recent article from imedicalapps.com discusses LiteSprite, a company that developed an anti-anxiety application called SinaSprite. LiteSprite was the winner of the Games to Generate Data Challenge competition by Games for Health. The article covers an interview with Swatee Surve, the CEO and David Hazel, Technical Advisor.

Hopefully, the days of bland patient information and mind-numbingly dull educational videos will soon be behind us. Increasingly, people are recognizing games as a way to better engage patients for educational and therapeutic purposes. These include mainstream consumer titles like the Wii Fit to specialized applications like laparoscopic surgical simulations and physical rehabilitation. In the past decade, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — a philanthropy whose aim is to improve healthcare — has provided grants and guidance for Games for Health and related initiatives. Their most recent competition, the Games To Generate Data Challenge, targets population health.

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