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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Study Shows Texting Increases Asthma Adherence in Adolescents

With adherence as such a major part of asthma management, the University of Rochester studied a potential mobile phone platform that can increase user adherence, specifically in adolescents. The platform is used to monitor symptoms and their parents can receive relevant updates throughout the day. The study found that the platform was accepted by most adolescents as a way to manage their asthma and could be implemented in the future.

“Purpose: Adolescents report high asthma-related morbidity that can be prevented by adequate self-management of the disease. Therefore, there is a need for a developmentally appropriate strategy to promote effective asthma self-management. Mobile phone-based technology is portable, commonly accessible, and well received by adolescents. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a comprehensive mobile phone-based asthma self-management aid for adolescents (mASMAA) that was designed to facilitate symptom monitoring, treatment adherence, and adolescent–parent partnership. The system used state-of-the-art natural language-understanding technology that allowed teens to use unconstrained English in their texts, and to self-initiate interactions with the system.

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MedGadget features GeckoCap as a way to “Help Parents Make Sure Their Asthmatic Kids Are Using Inhalers”

Medgadget, a weblog depicting the latest medical technologies on an international basis, featured Gecko in an article illustrating our strategies which support parental efforts to sustain consistent medication adherence in their children.

“Kids being kids, its hard to make sure they take their medicine when parents are not around. Yet, forgetting to do so can put asthmatic children at risk of a severe attack. A new indiegogo campaign is now raising money to fund the production of a smart system that can provide precise data about when a breathalyzer is used.”

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