LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 4, 2012) – With the help of Madison, Wis.-based Asthmapolis, Louisville’s asthma demonstration project has begun enrolling patients in a free, year-long asthma study to help the city identify possible causes of asthma attacks in the region and to help patients better manage their illness. Enrollment will include up to 500 participants and will take place at 11 Walgreens locations across the city from now until November 2012.
Louisville-area residents that meet the following criteria are invited to participate in the study:
• Have a medical diagnosis of asthma and do not have an accompanying diagnosis of COPD or lung cancer
• Have a current prescription for an emergency inhaler (e.g., albuterol)
• Speak English and are age 5 or older
• Have Internet and/or email access to receive reports, including a compatible communication device (“smart phone”) such as an Android or iPhone
Participants will be provided with the Asthmapolis inhaler sensor, which attaches to the top of medications that are used to relieve symptoms in the event of an asthma attack. When an inhaler is used, the sensor works with the participant’s cell phone to transmit the time and location of the attack to the company’s computer network. Of the total participants receiving the Asthmapolis inhaler sensor, 100 will also have a sensor provided to track their use of controller medication.
“This study will be a valuable opportunity for the city of Louisville to gain new insight into asthma trends in the area, and for participants to be able to better manage their asthma,” said David Van Sickle, co-founder and CEO of Asthmapolis. “We’re excited to be contributing our inhaler sensor technology to this important project and hope that it will serve as a model for future public health projects in other locations with high rates of asthma.”
The study is being funded by Norton Healthcare, Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation and The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
“This new, user-friendly technology has the potential to improve compliance with inhalers and to assist the physician with more timely management when asthma flares,” said Dr. Joshua Honaker, System Vice President, Physician Services of Norton Healthcare Inc. “As a result, patients and families may be able to avoid ER visits and hospitalizations.”
Louisville also received a Smarter Cities Challenge grant from IBM, which will provide technical assistance and help explore other sources of data for potential connections between asthma and the environment.
“Louisville is involved in pioneering work in the health data analytics field,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “This is the kind of thinking that makes us a world-class city, and will allow us to tackle a problem like asthma head-on.”
The IBM team will arrive in Louisville in August to look at other data types that also affect asthma attacks, including traffic congestion, vegetation cycles and weather.
“As cities compete on quality of place, smarter cities like Louisville will lead using tools like these,” said Ted Smith, director of the city’s Department of Economic Growth and Innovation.
Louisville ranks high among U.S cities in both allergens and poor air quality, two major triggers of asthma. A 2009 survey indicated that 15 percent of adults surveyed in Louisville had asthma, which is higher than both the state rate of 14.9 percent and the national percentage of 13.5.
To learn more about the project or enroll please speak with a pharmacist at one of the participating Walgreens locations or go to http://asthmapolis.com/louisville.
Walgreens Louisville Enrollment Locations
3421 W. Broadway
2368 Frankfort Ave.
2420 Lime Kiln Lane
7338 Dixie Highway
2021 Hikes Lane
5201 S. Third St.
4025 Taylorsville Road
9409 Shelbyville Road
13807 English Villa Drive
200 E. Broadway
808 Eastern Parkway
The Asthmapolis medication system and associated software has not been cleared for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.