Highlights from Interbike 2014

Asthma

Ford wants its cars to provide motorists with allergy alerts

Seasonal allergies strike 20 percent of Americans every year. Some people suffer so badly that they check the pollen count with the devotion that others pay to the stock market. For some asthma sufferers, an allergy attack can even lead to a life-threatening asthma episode. As part of its program to help motorist manage their health, Ford has announced that cars equipped with its SYNC AppLink system will be able to alert drivers about pollen and other health-related conditions.  Read More

The Protexo is a device that blows cool air on asthma sufferers as they sleep, to keep all...

Asthmatics have it hard enough when they’re awake, having to periodically use their inhalers, or remove themselves from situations that could trigger an attack. For some of them, however, their symptoms get even worse when they go to bed, preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep. Airsonett, a Swedish medical tech company, is attempting make life easier for those people. It has created a device called the Protexo, which it claims should be of great assistance to night-time asthma sufferers.  Read More

Dr Iain White analyzes the constituents of medical student Tom Geliot's breath in the DDU

While Star Trek-style multifunctional medical "tricorders" are still in the realm of sci-fi, scientists at the University of Leicester and Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) in the UK may be making the first tentative steps toward making them a reality. The researchers are developing a holistic high-tech diagnostic unit designed to quickly detect the "sight, smell and feel" of disease in real time without the need for invasive and time-consuming procedures. Much of the technology being used was originally developed for space research, atmospheric chemistry and emergency medicine.  Read More

Electron micrograph of H. pylori

It’s widely recognized that asthma rates have increased significantly since the 1960’s and continue to rise. With increases in asthma and other allergic diseases centered on industrialized nations, a recent hypothesis suggested that the disappearance of specific microorganisms that populate the human body due to modern hygiene practices might be to blame. Now researchers claim they have confirmed this hypothesis by proving that a certain gastric bacterium provides reliable protection against allergy-induced asthma.  Read More

DESSO's AirMaster carpet traps fine particles and releases them during vacuuming

For asthma and allergy sufferers the choice of carpeting or hard flooring can be a confusing one. Although medical professionals often advise people with severe allergies to remove wall-to-wall carpeting, carpet manufacturers defend their product, saying that carpet fibers actually trap allergy-provoking substances like dust and pollen and prevent them from circulating in the air where they can be inhaled. A new carpet from International carpet and artificial grass manufacturer, DESSO, could mean an end to such conundrums as it is designed to capture and retain more of the potentially harmful allergy-producing particles in its fibers and significantly reduce the amount of such particles floating in the air.  Read More

It ain't pretty, but hookworms like this may help prevent asthma and other allergies - the...

There has been a worldwide increase in the prevalence of asthma and other allergies over the last century. With the biggest jump in cases coming from the developed world, it's been theorized that the rise in such diseases could be the unintended result of the success of modern hygiene in preventing childhood infections. A new study conducted in Vietnam has added credence to the view that parasitic gut worms, such as hookworm, could help in the prevention and treatment of asthma and other allergies.  Read More

Dust storms like that seen in Sydney, Australia last week can pose serious health risks th...

Out of sight might mean out of mind, but it doesn’t necessarily mean out of danger, particularly in the case of small airborne particles. Such particles can severely affect your health, with effects ranging from asthma and bronchitis to lung cancer. If you’re worried about the possible presence of airborne particles in your home researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have developed a sensor called ‘Dust Alert’ that could confirm your suspicions or better yet, set your mind at ease.  Read More

An intelligent metered dose inhaler (MDI)

March 5, 2007 Here’s an interesting new inhaler that provides metered dose inhaler (MDI) users with breath-activated delivery and dose-counting capabilities. From Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, the MD Turbo offers significant advantages for the users of many of the 40 million MDIs prescribed each year in the United States alone. Studies show that many patients using traditional press-and-breathe pMDIs (pressurized metered dose inhalers) to control asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), regardless of age or MDI experience, cannot successfully coordinate the press-and-breathe action necessary for drug delivery to the lungs. More than 70% of MDI users do not know the number of doses remaining in their inhalers at a given time.  Read More

Cell Phones to monitor the air and alert users to harmful chemicals and gases

October 2, 2006 One wonders what super powers our mobile phones might have a decade from now given the plethora of sensing technologies, miniaturisation and functionality being planned by various companies. Cell-phone-sensor technologies specialist Gentag’s latest patent (7,109,859) for a "Method and Apparatus for Wide Area Surveillance of a Terrorist or Personal Threat" certainly indicates that it won’t be long before our cell phones will be monitoring the air we breathe and alerting us if there’s something we should know regarding allergens, contaminants or harmful bacteria. Gentag also holds patents for the use of RFID readers incorporated into cell phones, which will provide consumers with innovations like smart skin patches to detect health conditions and smart food labels to help consumers to determine the freshness of produce and meat. Gentag also a cell phone with a UV sensor built-in (pictured).  Read More

PowerBreathe- dumbells for your lungs

April 2, 2006 As science has focussed on human fitness and wellbeing over the last few decades, our understanding of the benefits of exercise has grown immensely. “Use it or lose it” applies to every aspect of human performance, and it’s now been proven that regular mental exercise improves your ability to think. So perhaps we should consider specialised training for the lungs? The lungs are without doubt one of the keys to all human performance as they supply the body with oxygen. Every 24 hours the average human takes over 20,000 breaths, with physically active people pushing towards 30,000 breaths. Most people assume breathing is controlled automatically, like our heartbeat, but the truth is that we can learn to breathe better. That’s the thinking behind the POWERbreathe training system – by exercising and strengthening the muscles we use to breathe (the inspiratory muscles) we can help alleviate breathlessness, improve all-round fitness and even maximise the effectiveness of other muscles used in exercise.  Read More

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