New air filter improves symptoms for asthma sufferers
A new air filter and purifier could dramatically reduce the symptoms asthma sufferers have to live with on a daily basis, a study has found.
The temperature controlled laminar airflow treatment (TLA), known as Protexo, works while people are asleep to cleanse the air of asthma triggers.
This then alleviates typical symptoms those with asthma suffer from every day; namely wheezing, coughing and tight chests.
A study of the air filter machine found that asthmatics that used it had a better quality of life by those who didn’t, and this was estimated to be a 15 percent increase.
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Protexo works by directing a cool airflow over someone as they sleep, which displaces the warmer, room-temperature air containing the common asthma triggers – dust mites and pet hair – therefore preventing them from inhaling the allergens.
Health experts are now calling for the device to be made available through national health services.
Priced at £4,000, they are arguing that the machine is relatively cheap.
They also believe its use would make hospital stays for asthmatics for shorter and would reduce their reliance on drugs to manage their condition, thus effectively paying for itself.
The study of Protexo was led by Professor John Warner, a professor and paediatrician at Imperial College London and St Mary’s Hospital respectively.
Commenting on the results, he said: “This device makes a significant difference to people's lives, with an effect as big as very expensive treatments, and it helps prevent the triggers of the disease.
“Our findings support the importance of focusing exposure control interventions on the breathing zone, and highlight the role of nocturnal exposures in precipitating airway inflammation and symptoms in patients with atopic asthma.”
He added: “The reason nocturnal TLA is successful where so many other approaches have failed may be the profound reduction in inhaled aeroallergen exposure, which this treatment achieves.”
More information and the results of the study have been published in Thorax, an online journal.
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Jvion launches AI-powered map to tackle mental health crisis
Clinical AI company Jvion has launched an interactive map of the US that highlights areas that are most vulnerable to poor mental health.
The Behavioral Health Vulnerability Map uses Jvion's AI CORE™ software to analyse public data on social determinants of health (SDOH) and determine the vulnerability of every US Census block group.
Vulnerability refers to the likelihood that residents will experience issues like self-harm, suicide attempts or overdoses. The map also identifies the most influential social determinants in each region, to show the social and environmental conditions that contribute to mental illness.
As an example, the map shows that Harrison County in Mississippi has a 50% higher suicide rate than the rest of the state. It also shows a high percentage of individuals in the armed forces at a time when active duty suicides are at a six-year high, along with a high prevalence of coronary artery disease, arthritis, and COPD, all chronic illnesses that are linked to a higher suicide risk.
The map also shows Harrison County has a high percentage of Vietnamese Americans, who studies suggest have high rates of depression and may be less likely to seek help from mental health professionals.
The map was built using the same data and analytics that Jvion used to create the COVID Community Vulnerability Map, which was launched towards the start of the pandemic.
With this new map, Jvion is aiming to tackle the growing mental health crisis in the US. “At a time when so many Americans are struggling with their mental health, we’re proud to offer a tool that can help direct treatment resources to the communities that need it most,” said Dr John Showalter, MD, Jvion’s chief product officer, who led the development of the map.
“For too long, the healthcare industry has struggled to address social determinants of health, particularly in the context of behavioural health. Our hope is that by surfacing the social and environmental vulnerabilities of America’s communities, we can better coordinate our response to the underlying conditions that impact the health and wellbeing of people everywhere.”