Asthmapolis Innovatively Tackles Asthma, Wins Contest

Romin Irani, Contributing Writer
Nov. 01 2010, 01:25PM EDT

Telephony platform Twilio has a long running developer contest, giving Netbooks and Twilio credit to the winners. Recently it had a special contest, in which the winners could meet with Union Square Ventures partners for lunch. The winner of the contest is Asthmapolis, a site that helps track, manage and research asthma.

The Asthmapolis team gets an all expenses paid trip to New York to meet with Union Square Ventures, including its popular venture capital blogger, Fred Wilson. As per the contest blog post, more than 50 entries were received for this edition of the contest and the proud winners were Greg Tracy, David Van Sickle and Mark Gehring, who created Asthmapolis.

Asthmapolis is an application that is clearly positioned to tackle a major health condition, Asthma. It aims to provide tools and communication mechanisms for health tracking and disease management. It addresses all the players involved: Patients, Physicians, Public Authorities and Health Scientists.

Patients can use an innovative device called the Spiroscout, a device that uses GPS to determine the time and location when an inhaler is used, and then stores or sends that information to a remote server. Patients can also use a companion mobile application called the Asthmapolis mobile diary that tracks your asthma symptoms, triggers and get information on various important events. You can also opt to receive Text Messages, delivered via Twilio (a ProgrammableWeb sponsor), to remind you of your medication. The How It Works page explains the features in great detail.

Physicians can monitor the patient data coming into the site to track if medication is being adhered to, uncontrollable triggers for certain patients and also sent Text messages with reminders and other education messages.

Public Authorities and Scientists can study the data and merge that with location to understand the overall context of the disease, which regions or periods it is most frequent in and many more ways of looking at data to better understand and control the disease. The first step towards conquering diseases is to understand them and look at means to control it. Asthmapolis provides necessary mechanisms and data to go along, to help that happen today.

Congratulations to Asthmapolis, an application service that addresses one of the widely prevalent health conditions in our society. Read the entire interview with the Asthamapolis team on the Twilio blog.

Romin Irani Romin loves learning about new technologies and teaching it to others. His passion is to help developers succeed.



A relevant but strangely ignored or not generally known fact about asthma is that the change between weak (asthmatic) and strong (healthy) breathing is dependent on abdominal muscle tension. Slackening the muscles here causes abysmally weak and asthmatic breathing. Training the muscles, for example by “abdominal hollowing” (see Web articles) produces an antiasthmatic effect. Abdominal muscle tension plays a prominent part in Asian martial arts. I tend to breathe asthmatically after an evening meal or in pollen-laden air.

So it is fair to assume that there is a natural breathing spectrum with an asthmatic tendency at one end and Ku Fu or Karate breathing at the other end. For a few words on the Japanese version of Asian breathing see

Breathing powerfully into my lower abdomen with tensed muscles provides an effective cure for me. But then I’ve always been sceptical about medical wisdom on asthma. Respectfully, Richard Friedel

[...] Asthmapolis Innovatively Tackles Asthma, Wins ContestProgrammableWeb (blog)The winner of the contest is Asthmapolis, a site that helps track, manage and research asthma. The Asthmapolis team gets an all expenses paid trip to New … [...]