In a breakthrough study, scientists from University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a GPS-enabled inhaler that can help pinpoint the areas that trigger asthmatic attacks.
"Asthma is unique in that people carry their inhalers around with them and use them at the time and place when they are having symptoms," ABC Online quoted lead researcher David Van Sickle as saying.
To test the efficacy of the GPS device, he and his colleagues have recruited four asthmatic undergraduates.
The subjects will carry around inhalers equipped to relay location data when they were being used.
"At one time, I was worried that lugging this inhaler around would cause people to have asthma attacks. It looked like a washing machine tied on to an inhaler," said Van Sickle.
"The device is now about the size of a nine-volt battery, and the weight is insignificant.
"We had this one guy who was using his inhaler every day at work, and he was fine the rest of the time. He had never put it together that he had workplace-related asthma. It's funny what people miss when they're so close to stuff," he added.
Van Sickle has received funding for a pilot program now under way in the city of Madison.