July 27, 2017 – BLOG – When I began HEALTHeWeather, it was an aspirational business idea generated by a flash of revelation when my sister, suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), said to me, casually, “Eric, you should develop a mobile app that would inform me of when my RA is going to flare-up based on weather changes.”
From this inspirational moment, I researched the impact of environmental factors as a determinant of health and decided to target allergy and asthma sufferers because of the readily apparent weather and environmental impacts and, frankly, from a business perspective, the market size. I had no personal anecdote that compelled me in this direction. I was certainly surprised to learn the number of asthma attacks in the US daily, 30,000, of which 5,000 result in an ER visit, and 1,000 of those, result in a long-term inpatient hospital stay. I was shocked to learn that, tragically, 11 people die every day from an asthma attack. I had never thought of asthma as deadly.
When I explored the issue of allergies and asthma, I realized there were significant gaps in the understanding of triggers, and the education of asthma patients, especially those with allergies, and between patients and providers, as to the management of their condition and the prevention of asthma attacks. The more I learned, the more my business idea emerged as a compelling need to help asthma sufferers manage and control the negative health outcomes that are triggered by the weather and their surroundings.
In my last blog, I detailed one of the many tragedies that occur daily because of an asthma attack. While viewing the GoFundMe page hoping to raise funds to help the Diamond cover their daughter’s medical bills, I decided to search the site using the terms, ‘asthma’ and ‘tragedy’. Hundreds of campaigns came up. One story after another detailing a family’s tragedy due to asthma, and often the result of weather and environmental exposures. This realization has changed a business into a mission, and created a passionate desire to help all allergy and asthma sufferers, but especially, those who may be at risk of these often debilitating, but preventable asthma attacks.
Asthma sufferers feel they are at the mercy of the weather and their environment, but as with anything, if you measure the impacts, you gain knowledge, and with knowledge you can manage and control the risks. DailyBreath is an app aimed at measuring risk, making preventative recommendations, and doing a better job of helping each individual asthma patient become more aware of their personal triggers so that they can, hopefully, avoid negative outcomes.
Along with prevention, I hope in a small way to help some those who have already suffered a massive and dangerous attack that has permanently changed their lives, in every blog I plan to include a section that will detail the story of an asthma patient who has suffered a tragedy. I cannot help everyone, but maybe in a small way, by sharing their story we can heighten awareness and assistance with their medical expenses.
Success is no longer about a business, but “knowing that one life has breathed easier….”.
HELP DIAMOND: This week I once again feature the story that inspired this commitment, that of Diamond, of Omaha, Nebraska. Doctors can’t pinpoint what triggered 15-year-old’s asthma attack; Burke High junior remains in ICU. Please consider donating to cover Diamond’s medical bills and support her recovery at the GoFundMe account.
Next Blog – Asthma Education and Asthma Triggers, Tools for Patients, Educators, and Doctors
Authored by Eric Klos, Founder and CEO of HEALTHeWeather, this bi-weekly blog is related to weather and environmental factors impacting patient health. Sign up for the DailyBreath, the 1st solution powered by HEALTHeWeather, coming to market in August.