Peak flow measurement via Iphone or Android (asthma management)

As part of asthma management, record keeping plays a major role. Yet, compliance with such is often times not all that good in the short term, and for the long term, likely non-existant. Part of the issue is the need to manually write down readings from a peak flow device, the next part is reviewing the data either by oneself, or in conjunction with a medical dude.

The use of an internet enabled camera phone, ie Iphone or Android could drastically simplify record keeping, provide for some level of medical review, and thus increase compliance multifold, and potentially reduce the cost of medical services.

In a nutshell, custom code would provide the following:

  • Reminder to take peak flow measurement
  • Instructions as to take photo of peak flow device
  • Image processing, likely offline, such that the numerical peak flow measurement can be extracted from the image data.
  • Thresholds pre-determined via medical professionals based upon said numeric data as to course of action. Ranging from no-action to med changes, to head to the ER.
  • Long term trend analysis, perhaps via an offshore version of Amazon’s mechanical turk (albeit comprised of medically trained personal)
  • Periodic updates back to the phone screen as concerns asthma management.
  • Provisions to do a datadump to healthvault, any number of medical databases, or even printouts, in order to share data with a medical care provider.
  • Provisions to graph the data in any number of user customizations.

The above would hopefully provide the following benefits:

  • improved patient compliance via simplified data taking
  • improved patient care through better management
  • reduced medical costs via offshoring lower level functions, reduction in the the need for onsite physician time, and reductions in un-necessary ER visits / hospitaliztion.
  • much easier self reviews via graphical charts of the data, as contrasted with a worn tablet of numbers entered via a pencil.

Said code would not require new peak flow meters, nor a specialized cell phone other than a Iphone, or Anroid variant. The code for the most part only deals with the higher level phone functionality, thus providing for a range of potential phones, to say nothing of a reduction in obsolecence. The use of offshore medical reviewers offers significant cost savings, albeit there would be value in such a device, even if the iphone’s owner was just doing self reviews.

It should also be noted that any camera phone with the ability to email photos, and recieve SMS messages could be used is such a fashion, elbeit the computing power available is much lower, thus necessitating more offsite processing.

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  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. Sue, thank you for the kind comments!

    Eric, sure will, my theme was created by a fellow in India, he runs a virtual assistance co, and his code is pretty solid. (like always, wordpress themes serve as a starting point, the rest is user customization) Do however be aware of your audience when seleting a theme… there can be a real science behind it. Maybe I should blog on some of the reasons.

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