A therapeutic patch that automatically injects drugs if patients show symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was registered as a patent on July 17.
The registered patch, called the “patch for diagnosing and treating asthma and chronic COPD (patentee: Yonsei University Industry Foundation, inventor: Kim Kwang-joon김광준),” consisted of a measurement unit (attached to chest, bronchial tubes or back), a sensor unit (attached to chest or back) and a patch unit (attached to chest or back).
The measurement unit judges symptoms based on respiratory sound while the sensor unit does so based on voice. If these units determine there are symptoms, the drug is injected to the chest.
"Patients with asthma or COPD use inhalers to treat symptoms,” the foundation said. “Recently, a patch has been developed to put on after symptoms occur. But we have never seen a patch that can monitor patients’ conditions as continuously and precisely as the recently patented one.”
So far there has been no technology that can assess diseases and confirm changes in them accurately and objectively by recording and monitoring the respiratory sounds of people with asthma and COPD, it said.
"There hasn’t been technology to conduct immediate diagnosis and treatment at the same time,” it said. “Given the risks of asthma and COPD that need to continuously confirm the changes in respiratory ability depending on fine dust and smog, however, it has become increasingly necessary to develop this sort of technology.”
By making the most of the recently patented technology, the medical staffs can know whether patients are in a situation that requires immediate medical services, share and evaluate treatment effects with other workers, and directly treat patients using drugs, the foundation added.
"Asthma patients receive a diagnosis at hospitals after symptoms occur. However, it 's hard to diagnose and treat children or the elderly at an early stage without careful observation of guardians because these patients are not well aware of what asthma symptoms are and come to hospitals too late,” it said. “Especially if there is no symptom of asthma, it is difficult to make the diagnosis even with a pulmonary function test conducted at hospitals."
But the recently patented technology allows for not only early diagnosis but changes in severity, it noted.
“Unlike the existing patches that inject drugs as soon as they were put on, the registered patch injects drugs only when symptoms occur, heightening the treatment effect," the foundation said.