IoT Blog

IoT Blog

Smart Breathe: Harnessing the Power of Medical Connectivity to Keep People Safe

For a parent, the anguish over seeing your child suffer can be matched only by the hollow-stomach fear of uncertainty. Uncertainty, when they are out of your sight, about whether they are taking their medication. The panic of an asthma attack has led many parents to wish there was a way to monitor their child and their inhaler use at all times. Now, that possibility is becoming a reality. 

Remote monitoring in health care is ideal for people of all ages, but especially those with young children or elderly parents. Knowing if someone took their medicine, and alerting them to take it if they haven’t, doesn’t only save lives; it grants freedom and independence for people to live those lives. And what makes that remote monitoring possible is innovation and IoT connectivity technology. 

That’s what Ali Moiyed, the founder and CEO of Aerobit, realized. His daughter’s asthma inspired him to create a portable IoT-connected medical device, one that would alert him—and her—if she failed to take her medicine and could keep track of dosage so she wouldn’t accidentally overdose. He knew this could make his family, and millions of others, safer.

This insight needed IoT connectivity. Resilient connectivity based on Smart SIM cards can be the basis of remote monitored healthcare for children, older adults, and everyone else. It allow inventors and medical technology companies to save lives around the world. It replaces fear with certainty. It’s a breath of fresh air. 

Breathing New Life into Asthma Care – Aerobit Health
Every single day in the United States alone, 11 people die from an asthmatic attack. Three per day in the United Kingdom. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 250,000 people die a year from it globally. Many of these are children, as while the global rate of sufferers has plateaued, the rate of incidence in children has gone up. Aerobit’s Moiyed believes that three-quarters of these deaths are preventable. 

So much of this comes down to communication between parent and child. When Moiyed’s daughter, Ruqaiyya, suffered an attack, neither he nor his wife knew if she had recently taken her medicine, and so were uncertain about whether to provide it, fearing an overdose. They were also worried about whether she would take it when she was away, at school or on trips. That’s when he came up with the Aerobit Smart Inhaler idea.

Aerobit is a portable inhaler that transmits information about usage to a parent’s mobile device. It can tell when the inhaler is used, and when it is not. The user will get an alert reminding them to take their medicine if they haven’t when they need to, and parents can monitor and assess what is happening with their child. It measures quality of dose, adherence to a regime, and keeps family members and healthcare providers informed at all times. 

The heart of the device is communication—with teachers, with users, with medical professionals. But keeping everyone informed requires the transmission of data, from anywhere at any time. Given the challenges of reliable connectivity, especially in crowded urban or sparsely-covered remote areas, a regular SIM card could be an unreliable way to perform Aerobit’s mission-critical functions. 

That’s why they turned to Sierra Wireless and Smart SIMs.

Smart SIMs Help Keep Kids on the Move
The problem is essentially one of movement. Where do kids go? They go to grandparents’ houses. To school. On playdates. They go on field trips downtown or to the country. And in all this motion, they move from one carrier zone to another, or to an area with limited coverage, or where their carrier signal is weak. That wouldn’t work for Aerobit. Missing an update could be extremely dangerous. 

With Smart SIMs, there is no need for connectivity to ever be dropped. The Smart SIM picks up the best signal no matter where the user is, moving from zone to zone to ensure constant connectivity. 

Not only that, but Sierra Wireless’s Smart SIMs have global coverage, with 100% coverage in Europe. A field trip from France into Belgium doesn’t mean a loss of connection. 

Children, as any parent can tell you, are always in motion. These days that means they can be running in and out of coverage (even the other side of the schoolyard might have a comparatively weak signal from their primary carrier). That shouldn’t mean they put their health at risk. Smart SIMs allow their connectivity to move with them. 

Connected Inhaler and the Future of Health

The Aerobit breakthroughs help us envision a far healthier and less dangerous future. This won’t be for asthma alone—though even if it were, it would still save untold lives. It’s easy to expand this kind of technology to other medicines, such as insulin for the diabetic; the same technology applies. 

We can see this being used for other portable medical devices, as well as wearables and even ingestibles. When information is no longer dependent upon good Wi-Fi, it creates more freedom. Older adults who have been bound to the time constrictions of constant checkups will be able to leave their homes while still transmitting critical health updates to their families or medical professionals, regardless of wireless coverage. 

The future implications are staggering and wonderful. Imagine if there is a medical emergency for someone who is chronically ill. No matter where they are, arriving medical professionals can have exact information on their condition transmitted directly to them, regardless of coverage. A person who has an illness, or is worried about being too far from home, no longer has to worry. Their up-to-the-minute health records can be traveling with them. 

Saving Lives

But saving these lives, and making them better, means using the correct system. It means working with a company who knows the difference between consumer mobile needs and the Internet of Things. A company who knows what kind of solution medical tech and M2M communication really need. A company who can provide resilient global coverage for all mission-critical operations. 

At Sierra Wireless, we believe there is no mission more critical than the health of those we love. Smart SIM technology can help medical tech professionals save lives. Start with Sierra to make sure all portable and wearable medical devices send the information they need to help us all breathe easier, and live better.