I recently found a great Kickstarter project called Dr. Poket for medication management & I did this blog post about it. But one of my support group friends/Gift of Life stay buddies posted about this IndieGoGo project the same day (on Facebook) I found this company. The company’s product account also connected with me on Twitter that same morning. I was very excited about this device too because one thing that will never go away for me – either now, or after my lung transplant – is the need to measure my lung function on a regular basis…
I want a user friendly digital health device to help me with this endeavor & I feel Wing does just that. (Please see their product video on the Indiegogo campaign for more information). It not only records one of my baselines of lung function FEV1 (the link here provides useful background) but also peak flow readings (this American Lung Association link gives important insights as to why tracking peak flow is important). Admittedly, the latter (peak flow) I don’t track as well as I should because the asthma I do have is usually well-controlled with the drugs I take to stimulate my airways to alleviate LAM symptoms. Yet, that’s not an excuse. The fact is I haven’t found a streamlined, easy way to do it; so I don’t.
This 2-fer feature is great for me for those reasons. It is ultimately what led me to invest in the project; especially because the crowdfunding is flexible funding. Meaning, even if they don’t hit their goal, they keep the money & can still put the product into production for backers. Unlike Kickstarter, which only guarantees production if the goal is met & all funds are raised. I tend to favor Indiegogo funding more for that reason.
The other attractive aspect of this device is the fact it also checks for environmental triggers & will set alerts to your phone. With increasing LAM symptoms one of the hardest environmental factors for me is adjusting to humidity. Anything over 50 percent & my lungs really start freezing up. Over 70 percent, I won’t even go outside if I can help it. Since I also have a strong tendency towards seasonal allergies, the pollen alerts will help me too. Hopefully, it might even have air quality alerts built in. I find those extremely helpful, especially if traveling to larger cities. High ozone levels can also influence my lung health.
[Important aside: In fact, since my lungs were “tacked” to my chest wall over 10 years ago (I did this because I was having very severe lung collapses. I’ve had at least 6 total, & a few that might have been but were not confirmed by an X-ray or CT because they were so small); I find I am very sensitive to weather in general. I joke with friends that I have the same pain in my lung with rainstorms & weather changes that old ladies complain about in their arthritic knees. It’s true though. I can feel that barometric pressure build up & release very intensely, though less intensely than just a few years out of those surgeries.
However, many people with lung disease I talk to have similar weather complaints about lung tightness & “weirdness”, so I think this alert feature is important & will have mass appeal to whomever uses this device. ]
Wing is a low profile device too. I had a newer digital peak flow that I bought years ago at CVS that was ok, but it just wasn’t portable or as easy to maintain as this seems to be. This was also before phone app integration so while the digital feature was nice, I didn’t have an easy way to transfer that information anywhere.
I try very hard not to push devices. I don’t want to seem as if I’m endorsing these products or pushing them on people like a sales person or consultant. However, I do love commenting on smart, easy-to-use technology to make my personal health tracking easier. I strongly believe that because of all the health tracking I HAVE to do for my diseases to collect relevant & important LAM & TSC data & maintain good health, that devices like these that I have chosen to profile in my blog assist me greatly.
The more I stay on top of all this health data, the better I feel. The easier it’s made for me to do it & the less time involved the better. Then I can focus on other things than collecting numbers. I can live life. I don’t have stop my world for an hour or more to get it all done. Therefore, I’m more likely to do it as often as I should because there’s no extra work involved.
I also like leveraging my phone this way because then I can pull all this up in the doctors office if I need to or email it off to researchers I partner with on projects very easily if needed.
With these devices I also won’t have additional large pieces of equipment I have to do routine maintenance on (like I do with my oxygen concentrators & nebulizer).
I can usually fit all these devices in a running belt or small bag to store them easily & pack for travel. I already have a digital pulse oximeter for exercise that works well & a Kinsa Smart Thermometer that is simple to use & track my temperature when I’m sick. These run through my phone & don’t drain the battery.
So here it is, another device that will wow any respiratory or physical therapists I work with. I’m always getting positive feedback from them on how in-tune I am with what my lungs need & the digital devices I use. That shows another way I’m fighting LAM successfully as I can on my own.
UPDATE: It should be noted that Wing also has a campaign on Indiegogo. As of 11/9, it has less than 2 weeks left & is 71 percent funded.