If you suffer from any kind of allergy or serious respiratory problem like asthma, you know that there are many environmental factors that can trigger these conditions, and they vary from place to place. David Sickle, from the Department of Population Health Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is looking to utilize GPS technology to help him study the spatial distribution of asthma triggers. He is working with biomedical engineering students to develop an asthma inhaler with built-in GPS capabilities. The idea is that when the inhaler is used, the location and time can be recorded and that information can be used along with other data to try to both understand the conditions that may have caused the attack, and to identify locations that may be danger zones for asthma sufferers.
Although the project is still in its early stages, it is a really innovative idea for using location-based technologies to try to understand a complex problem, and hopefully the project team will provide updates on how the study progresses.