Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is asthma?
is a respiratory disease that causes inflammation and irritation
in the lining of tubes that carry air to the lungs. This prevents
air from reaching the lungs properly and makes breathing difficult.
When the tubes are chronically
inflamed they become oversensitive and hyperactive, which can lead
to spasms. It is the spasms of the airways that cause the most recognizable
symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and
shortness of breath.
While some degree of inflammation is always
present in people with chronic asthma, the degree of inflammation
— and thus the symptoms — vary.
Q: What are the symptoms of asthma?
A: Common symptoms of asthma include:
• Wheezing –
a high-pitched, whistling sound that your child may make during
an asthma attack. If you hear this sound as your child breathes,
be sure to let your doctor know. Not all people who wheeze have
asthma, and not all those who have asthma wheeze.
• Shortness of breath
– especially during exercise, is another possible sign.
All children get out of breath when they're running and jumping,
but most resume normal breathing very quickly afterward. If your
child doesn't, a visit to your doctor is in order.
• Chronic cough
– especially at nighttime or early morning, after exercise
or exposure to cold air.
• Chest tightness
– a symptom that you may have to ask your child about. If
you notice any of the signs just described, it's a good idea to
ask your child whether he or she feels a tight, uncomfortable
feeling in the chest.
Q: What are some triggers of asthma?
A: Triggers vary from person to person, but some
common triggers include cold air; exercise; allergens (things that
cause allergies) such as dust mites, mold, pollen, animal dander
or cockroach debris; and some types of viral infections.
Environmental irritants can also trigger
an asthma attack, such as tobacco smoke, pollution, paint fumes,
smog, aerosol sprays and perfume. Even sudden changes in weather
can precipitate a flare-up.
Each case of asthma is unique to that particular child. It is important
to keep track of the factors or triggers that you know to provoke
asthma attacks in your child.
What does the Asthma Signal program do?
A: The service provides personalized alerts and
reminders to optimize the quality of life of families of children
It does not provide or substitute for an Asthma
How easy is it to use?
A: The program requires little effort
to use on the part of the adult or child.
It does not require a patient diary or other
record keeping system.
What will my physician think of it?
A: The services encourages optimal use of the child’s
Asthma Action Plan.
It does not, however, substitute for seeing
a doctor, nurse, or specialist.
The program encourages the effective use
of medication as prescribed by health care professionals.
It does not discourage the use of medication.
Q: What about ‘standards of
A: The service encourages the practice of ‘evidence-based
medicine’ and standardized
It does not provide alternatives to standard
practice for asthma care.
Q: How will we know it works?
A: The program bases its effectiveness on assessing
the reduction of ER visits, lost school days and associated lost
The service will not be measured on individual
or isolated metrics.
Q: What data does Asthma Signals
use from my child’s experience?
A: The service collects and aggregates alerts,
recommendations and actionable data in a secure fashion, and subsequently
analyzes that information to continuously improve its performance.
The service does not create or share children’s
original health data.
Q: What information can I expect
to receive via text message?
A: The program integrates the child’s medical
data and interprets multiple inputs to create
a set of easy-to-follow recommendations.
The program does not deliver data on singular
triggers, such as air quality and pollen count for a particular