Japan and Netherlands
The WheezeScan by Omron is a small device that can accurately detect if a child is wheezing or not in under 30 seconds.
In 2016, around 8.3% of children in the United States had asthma. Asthma is usually a long-term condition where there is swelling or inflammation in the airways. It can make breathing difficult when the child is exposed to triggers such as smoke, cold air or allergens, including pollen. Asthma can cause the child to cough, have a tight chest, struggle to get enough sleep, and miss out on school.
In children under five, wheezing is the most common symptom. Detecting wheezing and treating it in time is crucial for avoiding an asthma attack. However, wheezing can be challenging to detect. Parents and physicians only agree on the presence of wheezing 45% of the time.
Omron, a Japanese electronics company known for making medical equipment, including a smartwatch that can measure blood pressure, has created a portable device that makes it easy for parents to know if their child is wheezing or not. The device is held on the chest like a stethoscope, and it listens to the breathing to give a clear indication of ‘wheeze’ or ‘no wheeze’. It can work when the child may be taking shallower or different breaths to usual. The results are displayed within 30 seconds. Its battery-powered and light enough at 58g to take on holidays.
Confidence in knowing if the child is wheezing or not can remove doubt and make it easy for the guardian to follow the exact next steps based on the prescribed treatment plan. A companion asthma diary app is available where parents can log when a wheeze has been detected, triggers, and symptoms. The data is easily shared with the child’s doctor to adjust the treatment plan when needed.