According to the makers of Alvio, asthma is the third-leading cause for hospitalization of children under the age of 15. Children with asthma miss a total of 14 million school days a year. Some studies have shown that when patients can exercise their breathing and track their condition, they can can reduce their use of medication — such as inhalers — by as much as 86%.
The Alvio is not a wearable device, but it is a wireless controller that makes it fun for children to practice their breathing. Sensors measure both inhaling and exhaling, and use Bluetooth LE to send signals to a smartphone or tablet. The Alvio becomes a controller that is used to play video games that are designed to get children to exercise their breathing. The amount of resistance can be adjusted to match individual needs, and the data is tracked and stored so that it can be shared with parents and healthcare professionals. Patients who use it feel more in control of their asthma, and both parents and children become less anxious about possible attacks.
The product is not yet available for sale. The company received a grant from Pilot Health Tech NYC to fund clinical testing at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.