Springtime advice for those with COPD

The following article offers information regarding COPD and how to avoid it during the spring months.

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According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

It is estimated that 16 million people in the U.S. are currently diagnosed with COPD, with an additional 14 million estimated to be in the beginning stages of the disease and not yet diagnosed.

COPD is a preventable and treatable disease that is characterized by persistent, progressive airflow limitation often associated with chronic inflammatory response.

he main symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath and chronic coughing, with or without mucous.

COPD exacerbations, characterized by worsening of the patient’s respiratory symptoms, are common, especially during the spring season, and can be extremely dangerous for the patient.

Upon diagnosis, the disease is classified within four categories of severity ranging from mild to end-stage COPD.

Like many other diseases, early detection is key. The earlier…

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TEDMED Features Gecko Health in its Blog

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TEDMED, a platform for sharing health related ideas and innovative solutions, recently featured the Geckocap in a blog post. The article focused on companies using data and monitoring techniques to help adolescents suffering from chronic or temporary health issues. The following companies were discussed in the article: Kinsa, an oral thermometer coupled with the technical prowess of a smartphone, Nonoly, a chemical making vaccine refrigeration obsolete allowing medicine to travel easily to rural areas and our very own Gecko Health Innovations.

Medication adherence is such an integral part of healthcare management that it is important to establish such habits at early ages, thus potentially creating a lifetime of medication self-management.

Move over, plastic stethoscopes: A number of innovations from TEDMED Hive 2013 companies aim to help even the littlest patients become engaged in their own real-life care.

Kinsa makes an oral thermometer that leverages the crowdsourcing power of a smart phone. The thermometer plugs into and transmits data to a free smartphone app – iOS now, but Android as well in the future – which also records and tracks symptoms and temps for easy retrieval at a pediatrician’s office. What’s more, the next phase of the product will provide crowd sourced data from social networks to allow parents to see what’s going on in a child’s neighborhood or school. Strep going around? Lice? Better act now.

The company is focusing first on tracking childhood ills, because mothers are the primary users of thermometers, says Kinsa deputy CEO Qian Qian Tang, and because children are prime carriers of highly contagious diseases like flu, whooping cough and measles.

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The Rise of Asthma and Allergies in Children

Why do so many children develop asthma

CTVNews Canada recently posted an article addressing one of the most pressing concerns in respiratory health today: An increase in asthma and allergies in children. So far, researches have been unable to come up with a direct cause, however in recent studies, pollution and other environmental have been linked to the problem. Currently, around 3500 children, all of whom were born after 2010, are being monitored for asthma and allergy symptoms. They have been tracked since birth and will be tracked well into their adolescent years. Since global asthma rates have been skyrocketing for the past 40 years, information divulged from this study will help scientists find out why this has been happening.

    Canadian researchers say the dramatic increase in asthma and allergy rates among young children may be linked to environmental factors.

    For their “Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development” study, or CHILD for short, scientists are keeping track of 3,500 children living in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Hamilton, Ont. These young subjects, all of whom were born after 2010, are helping researchers understand why so many young children across Canada are developing allergies and asthma.

    “Really it’s happening too quickly for it to be a simple problem of genetics,” University of Manitoba researcher Meghan Azad told CTV News.               

    “Our genes don’t evolve that fast, so it’s got to be something in our environment.”

    Azad is one of 44 researchers across Canada taking part in the longitudinal study, which will be completed in two years.

    “The CHILD study has asked questions about environment from pregnancy through childhood, and made home inspections collecting house dust for measurements including allergens and mold,” the study’s website explains.

    Around the world, as many as 250 million people suffer from food allergies, the World Allergy Organization estimates.

    “The occurrence of food allergies continues to rise in both developed and developing countries – especially in children where the incidence is estimated to be five to eight per cent compared to adults at one to two per cent,” the WAO said in statement.

    And it’s not just food allergy rates that have been skyrocketing. Global asthma rates rates are also on the rise.

    According to the European Lung Foundation, the prevalence of asthma has increased 50 per cent every ten years over the past 40 years. In Canada, the Asthma Society of Canada estimates three million people have asthma.

    To unravel the mystery behind the rapid rise in asthma and allergy rates, researchers taking part in CHILD have been tracking their tiny subjects since birth. They are collecting everything from cord blood to stool samples to examine how genetic predisposition and environmental factors can influence the development of allergies and asthma.

    “We’re collecting information about maternal stress because they think that plays an important role,” CHILD researcher Rishma Chooniedass told CTV News. Chooniedass adds that their subjects’diet is also being examined.

    Once completed, researchers believe the study will also shed light on other problems currently on the rise, including childhood obesity, diabetes and cardio vascular disease.

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Geckocap is a better method to manage your child’s asthma medication. Find out more here