Over the last couple of days Israel has been in the throes of a major dust storm; this is usual for us around this time of year (actually it is normally a little later on). We refer to it in Hebrew as Sharav and in Arabic they call it Hamsin (I believe this refers to the 50 days this weather can last).
It is typically very hot, dry and extremely dusty, effectively a sand storm. This weather plays havoc with visibility but is dangerous for asthmatics and anyone who suffers from other breathing disorders. This is also often an issue for the elderly and pregnant women.
Most of us know someone with asthma or with a child with asthma and we have seen them taking their medications via inhaler (often called a puffer). These can be for either maintenance of their condition or what is known as a Rescue Inhaler for when they have difficulty breathing and need to take medication to resolve this rapidly and safely.
The problem is that if you are someone who needs to manage your asthma and extreme weather or air pollution is obviously a problem then how do you know in Real Time?
Most of us are registered with our respective health funds and with specific Doctors. Many of us have cellular phones.
The Ministry of Health in Israel does issue warnings of this nature that are normally broadcast via TV or Radio but why not have the respective Health Funds send SMS/ Email or pre-recorded messages / alerts to the phones of people registered in their databases as at risk?
This is not rocket science but it would probably save lives, reduce overloading of the hospitals and emergency services and reduce sick days. Preventative medicine is cheap, effective and easy to implement.
I discussed this with a Doctor who is considering if he can implement this. Probably there are issues of privacy and patient permission but logic does seem to dictate that this is a good idea.
What do you think?