Asthma Wellness Kit

Abstract

In 2019 a striking 400 million people worldwide will be living with asthma. Environment, genetics and lifestyle are all factors that are assumed to cause this chronic disease. The current treatment of asthma is focused on medication, and wellness through exercise is not promoted. The benefits of an active lifestyle for asthmatics are many and include a reduced medication dose, increased tolerance to triggers and less asthma symptoms. Regular exercise can therefore dramatically decrease the effects of asthma and the mental and physical limitations that may follow. However, many asthmatics experience difficulties maintaining an active lifestyle due to the fear of having an exercise-induced asthma attack. There is also reluctance to the necessary intake of the high dosage of preventive medication. What if we can promote an active lifestyle for people with asthma by rethinking the way asthma is managed today?

Inspiration and Method

From my own personal experience of a family of asthmatics and having childhood asthma myself I have seen the limitations of a daily life with asthma. Understanding the importance of regular exercise for people with the diagnosis I asked myself why most asthmatics around me are not having an active lifestyle. Researching the topic I had inspiring encounters with people who despite of the physical limitations and mental barriers are leading an active life with an asthma diagnosis.

Method
The project takes a holistic approach and is based on extensive research and an iterative user-centered process. Constant validation through in-depth interviews and user testing has been conducted throughout the process with medical expertise, stakeholders, organizations, researchers and end users.

Result

The 'Asthma Wellness Kit' provides assurance, motivation and guidance to reduce physical constraints and mental barriers for people with asthma diagnosis enabling them to live an active lifestyle. The kit contains a mouth worn product, a charging unit, and access to an online service with community support and medical guidance. Depending on the severity of the asthma diagnosis the mouth piece is used during the whole exercise session or only parts of it. The mouth piece optimizes the air temperature while monitoring airway contractions providing assurance and safety for the user. The mouth piece and charging unit are designed for easy mobility during running and travelling due to its portable size and mobile charging function. Both pieces are easily cleaned under running water.