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IBM, Louisville Foundations Support Asthma Study

Louisville non-profits are getting support from IBM for a city-wide initiative to research and study asthma.Louisville is one of 33 cities world-wide to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant this year. IBM is investing $400,000 to help Louisville analyze data it will collect this year from up to 500 asthma patients. They will receive a special inhaler with a GPS system and microchips that gather data in real-time.Kosair’s Children’s Hospital asthma educator Beth VanCleave said the data could help the city explain where and why major outbreaks occur. The data sets will provide specific information on weather and traffic patterns, and emergency room visits, she said.An IBM team is expected to visit Louisville for three weeks later this year to produce a report for city officials.Louisville foundations including Greater Louisville Foundation, Norton Healthcare Foundation, Owsley Brown Charitable Trusts and Foundation for a Health Kentucky are supporting the $150,000 cost of the technology.