Healthcare is a constantly changing environment. Patients benefit with new treatments, monitors, and medicines as new technologies and capabilities boost abilities for doctors and researchers. A smart inhaler is one such medical innovation that can make the life of patients’ way easier in the days to come.
The cornerstone treatments for asthma are inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators. While corticosteroid helps control inflammation, bronchodilator provides immediate relief when symptoms flair. And though inhalers are efficient when they’re used correctly, up to 94 percent of people who use them don’t do so in the proper manner. Standard of care works for approximately 90 percent of all patients when taken correctly and as prescribed. On the other hand, studies shows about 50 percent of patients with asthma are not well controlled, which leads us to believe more can be done to increase adherence. This is where the Bluetooth-enabled smart inhalers can come to the rescue.
Designed to detect inhaler use, remind patients to use their medication, encourage proper use of the device, and gather data about a patient’s inhaler use that can help guide care, the device records the date, time, place, and whether the dose was correctly administered each time it is used. It helps in providing valuable insight to determine how adherent patients are to their controller medications, as well as help us understand the patterns of when a patient experiences a flare.
Add-on devices, which clip to existing inhalers and send data to a smartphone app, are available now and the first fully integrated smart inhalers are expected to be available to consumers anytime soon.