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Asthma Sensor Can Potentially Detect Attacks

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Fox News

Doctors David Samadi and Marc Siegel of the FOX News Medical A Team discuss a new hand-held device that can help warn asthmatics of potential attacks before they happen.

Dr. Siegel explains that the sensor works by detecting the levels of nitric oxide in the patient's breath. Prior to an asthma attack, a patient's lungs produce elevated amounts of nitric oxide due to inflammation. While the technology is not new, it's availability in a hand-held form factor represents a step forward from the large, in home units previously employed. Dr. Siegel also went on to point out that despite it's smaller size, it would still be rather expensive and that cheaper alternatives exist.

Dr. Samadi expands on Dr. Siegel's explanation, delving in to some of the finer points of what nitric oxide levels tell doctors. One advantage of getting precise readings, according to Samadi, is that it gives doctors a baseline by which to judge how successful ongoing treatments are. He also details a gps system that will be installed on the hand-held sensor, logging allergen levels by location so asthmatics will be aware when they are in an area that may trigger an attack.

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