A device that monitors symptoms is being piloted

Author: Ella StirlingPublished 12 hours ago

Birmingham Children's Hospital are currently trialling new technology that could predict when a patient will have an asthma attack.

A small table-top device, similar in size to a small alarm clock, monitors important symptoms and signs of asthma without patients needing to do or wear anything.

It sits next to a patient’s bed and monitors breathing patterns and burdensome symptoms of asthma.

This data is analysed using advanced computer algorithms, in order to spot patterns as well as provide clinicians with key information, to predict when a patient may have an asthma attack or when they become seriously unwell.

The study has been running since March 2022 but the team are recruiting more patients with and without asthma to take part in the study.

Dr Nagakumar said: "This is an exciting study, which has such a huge potential to help patients with asthma, which is something that affects one in 11 people. We’re working hard to further understand and develop the use of this innovative monitoring and, importantly, prediction technology.

“Our aim is to build algorithms and clinical supporting tools for the early detection of worsening asthma in children by capturing warning signs before patients or those giving care perceive them.”

Awa Khan's two sons, Ismael and Jamal, have both been on the study since last October.

Seven-year-old Jamal was diagnosed with asthma just last year, while Ismael, 13, has severe allergies and asthma which involves daily medication and hospital visits every other week for injections.

Awa, from Birmingham, said: “We are happy to take part. This study will hopefully help doctors be able to predict before they have an attack and put technology or medicine in place, so they don’t have to be extremely sick. I can’t wait to see the outcome!

“I would champion this study to anyone, whatever helps scientific study that helps other people I’d advocate for anybody to do it. It is just a monitor that goes by the bed, so for what it’s worth, it could really help somebody.

“I know how much asthma can affect a family, we lost our nephew when he was eight through asthma, and we’ve had other family members die from it, and it is unbearable. If it helps just one person then it will be worth it.”

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