Keeping Up To Date On Asthma

I’m pretty inquisitive by nature, and that extends to my asthma—for my own curiosity, and to share new information with others, I try to keep as up to date on asthma news as I can. Hitting up Google, though, can sometimes be a bit daunting. Back in the day, Twitter was my primary source for keeping up on asthma news. While I’m still pretty active on Twitter (some days more than others, and some days more than I should be!), I don’t spend “twenty five hours a day” on there anymore as my friend Rob once accused me of ;). (By the way, I’m @kerriYWG if you want to connect!).

While I want good quality articles to stay up to speed, I don’t always want to sift through the latest editions of academic medical journals online to get news, either. Some people have the focus and desire to do that… but that’s simply not me. I’m all about straight to the point, unless I’m hardcore researching for a blog post or article I’m writing. Fortunately, I’ve found a solution that’s close to the best of both worlds.

Enter Google Alerts.

I’ve got three keywords running in Google Alerts, one of them being asthma. Each morning (like, early morning. Like, 2 AM morning so on occasion read: often I’ve yet to go to sleep sort of morning), I get an e-mail from the Google robots sharing the latest news articles related to my topics of choice. Some days there are a ton, others not as many. Some days they repeat. The nice thing, though, is that I can read a headline and a short snippet of the article, right in my e-mail, and then decide if I want to dig into the rest of the article.

It’s important to note that there are limitations to Google Alerts, like anything Google. Sometimes Craigslist ads sneak in as news, and like I said, sometimes I get the same thing more than once in the same few days or a week. Sometimes I hate all the news that is in there because it’s negative and nothing good has happened in the asthma world that day. These are the days I don’t click any links and just swipe to the next email. Other days, like today, I get a cool article about wearables being developed at North Carolina State University that can help with asthma management (and, if you know how much of a wearables/self-tracking/quantified self nerd I am, you know that any news of that sort is super boss in my world, because I’m all into passively collecting data about my body).

If you’re looking for a simple way to keep track of what’s going on the world of asthma, I’d highly recommend checking out Google Alerts. You can always unsubscribe (another activity, like self-tracking, that I am all over is unsubscribing from e-mails). It’s worth filtering out the irrelevant information, because it makes accessing a lot of good stuff really quick. The majority of articles shared via Google Alerts are written more like news than academic works, so it’s a fairly straightforward way to give learning something new—that impacts you!—a shot.

Do you try to find out the “breaking news” regarding asthma? What tools do you use? Let me know in the comments!

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