According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), asthma affects an estimated 25 million people in the US alone, with a higher prevalence among female adults. (Source). This long-term respiratory condition is also the leading chronic disease in children, affecting an estimated 4.2 million US children (under 18), according to the most recent stats from the CDC.
Unlike other chronic diseases, asthma triggers can vary from person to person and don’t often originate from a single, direct cause. However, environmental factors such as pollen and air pollution - both indoors & outdoors - do disproportionately impact asthma sufferers, with reaction-severity and symptoms varying significantly between individuals - and potentially compounding the impact of other health conditions.
In this report, we aim to explore the ways asthma sufferers across the US currently manage their asthma, understand how they deal with the impact of different environmental triggers, and consider an effective solution that can empower individual asthma patients to lead healthier and less restrictive lives.
a) The Growing Health & Economic Impact of Uncontrolled Asthma
According to the American Asthma Foundation (AAF), asthma is responsible for 3,500 annual deaths in the USA as well as an estimated 13 million missed school days for children, and 10 million missed work days every year.
Current reports suggest annual asthma costs in the US to total $82 billion in terms of direct and indirect expenses.
- Medical costs as a result of 14.2 million doctor’s office visits
- 1.8 million emergency visits a year
- 440,000 hospitalizations a year.
The problem is also growing. Experts project that the total direct and indirect costs of uncontrolled asthma could exceed $963.5 billion from 2019 to 2038.
b) More Awareness Needed of the Connection Between Asthma & Allergies
Higher pollen counts mean more frequent and stronger allergic reactions in people who suffer from what’s known as ‘allergic asthma’. As many as 70% of asthma sufferers suffer from this type of allergic asthma, making them especially vulnerable to pollen, in addition to environmental changes connected to air quality, humidity, temperature, and more. As many of North America’s pollen seasons peak around the warmer months of the year - it's important for treatment providers and sufferers to be aware of this reality.
c) New Opportunity From Environmental Awareness & Digital Health Innovation
New forms of environmental intelligence and connected health technology means asthma treatment providers can empower sufferers to monitor their surroundings, understand the air they breathe, and proactively manage their systems and exacerbations like never before.