BlackBerrys to track patient symptoms

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StethoscopeA study is being launched by Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamiolton, Ontario where patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease will record and transmit their daily symptoms via BlackBerry. The handhelds will not only allow patients to communicate with health care professionals straight from home, but it should also allow for earlier intervention when situations worsen. The data gathered from the study could also help in determine trends in the disease.

“We also are hoping to pinpoint with more precision the high-risk peak periods of the year,” he said. Johnston said there are signs that the period between Christmas and New Year’s is a particularly risky period for COPD patients. Festive and family events, stress and different eating patterns may all have an impact on the severity of symptoms, he said but little is currently known about the causes of the Christmas epidemics of COPD.”