Scalable Health Labs

Towards Bio-Behavioral Medicine


A Platform for Measurement of Inhaler-use Behavior

Rajoshi Biswas, Peter Chang, Hasitha Dharmasiri, Gaurav Patel, and Ashutosh Sabharwal. 2013. AsthmaGuru: a framework to improve adherence to asthma medication. In Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Wireless Health (WH ’13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, , Article 11 , 2 pages.


Rajoshi Biswas, Graduate Student, ECE

Gaurav Patel, Research Engineer, ECE

Dr. Ashutosh Sabharwal, Professor, ECE

Peter Chang, CS Senior

Dr. Julie Katkin, M.D., Department of Pediatric Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital

Dr. Viral Kothari, Pediatric Pulmonary Fellow, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital

THE PROBLEM Asthma affects 300 million people in the world. However, adherence to Asthma medication is less than 50% and results in over 450,000 hospitalizations and 250,000 deaths per year.

OUR SOLUTION mobileHaler is the first low power, portable electronic platform for measuring Asthma inhaler-usage behavior in patients. mobileHaler measures time and location of the inhaler and is equipped with a camera to take a picture or a short video of the scenario in front of the inhaler. The data collected from the camera attachment can not only identify the person taking the medication, but a video record can also validate if the inhaler was used correctly. Moreover, mobileHaler monitors the quality of inhalation maneuver using accurate flowmeters designed to fit the constraints of a small form factor and ultra-low power inhaler attachment.


  • April 2013 : mobileHaler version 1.0 called AsthmaGuru, with features of measuring the count, time of dosage and wireless sync with mobile platform was developed.
  • 2013 : mobileHaler version 1.0 (AsthmaGuru) received third place in the Demo-Poster Competition at Rice ECE Corporate Affiliates Day.
  • 2013 : IRB filed for mechanical testing of the mobileHaler version 1.0 (AsthmaGuru). 17 students tested AsthmaGuru and the system recorded accurate time, date and count of medication 250 times.
  • 2013 : mobileHaler version 1.0 (AsthmaGuru) was published in Wireless Health 2013 ACM proceedings.
  • November 2013 : mobileHaler version 2.0, with features of measuring time, count, mapping location of dosage, capturing picture of patient, wireless syncing with mobile platform as well as determining air quality parameters, was demonstrated at Wireless Health 2013.
  • 2013 : Location tracking tested for 85 locations with 97% accuracy.
  • 2013 : Feasibility Study: Conducted a Survey with 20 asthma patients and their parents. 19 out of 20 responded positively about the device and its features including the camera and agreed the mobileHaler will help them control their asthma.

Prototypes of mobileHaler