New Convenient Air-sampling Device Enables Asthma Patients to Measure Allergens
Inspirotec, an Illinois-based air testing technology company, tells allergy sufferers what they’re breathing inside their homes. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle for asthma and allergy sufferers: what allergens are in the air they’re breathing.
A scientific study using a novel patented plug-and-play air sampler, coupled with sensitive lab testing, has provided the first-ever extensive statistical measure of airborne allergens in homes, based on tests run by the patients themselves.
Implications for asthma and allergy sufferers and their doctors are significant.
“Findings suggest allergens are now easily and reliably measurable in their airborne state, which may better reflect what asthma and allergy patients face at home,” said Dr. Paul Detjen, a Chicago allergist and Medical Director for Inspirotec, creator of the new technology.
The research is about to be published by the peer-reviewed medical journal, Annals of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology.
“This is an important educational tool, allowing patients and their doctors to know for the first time precisely what airborne allergens they have in their homes,” said Inspirotec Chief Scientific Officer Julian Gordon, the biophysicist who developed the air-sampling device.
“This leads to more focused remediation measures than previously possible,” Gordon said.
For years, collected dust has served as a surrogate for assessing exposure to allergens. A recently published study from the National Institutes of Health is based on a nationwide analysis where skilled operators had to enter the homes to perform the dust collection. This Inspirotec publication covering the Chicago area compares the two sets of data. There were more pets in the Chicago population and a correspondingly higher amount of pet allergens. Inspirotec provides patients with a technology that was previously inaccessible to all except well-funded research programs.
The study used Inspirotec’s unique air sampling technology to establish unique profiles for 103 homes, providing an initial framework of median values that can be used as a guide and as the basis for future large-scale trials.
Patients from five allergists’ practices received the devices, digital temperature, humidity readers, and lifestyle questionnaires. The devices, small and quiet, yet more powerful than available commercial technology, were placed by the patients in their own bedrooms. After five days, patients returned devices to Inspirotec labs, where the air samples were tested for 13 common allergens, including dust mite, dog, cat, mouse, mold, cockroach and pollen.
The study validated effectiveness, and also offered new insights into environmental allergens. Findings show where remedial measures as reported by patients are effective or not.
Publication: Bedroom Exposure to Airborne Allergens in the Chicago Area Using a Patient-Operated Sampling Device.
Julian Gordon, Paul Detjen, Sai Nimmagadda, Laura Rogers, Sanjay Patel, James Thompson. Rachel Reboulet and Prasanthi Gandhi. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. In Press.
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