Smart Inhalers Enabling Better Respiratory Care

By Ayushee Sharma

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Smart inhalers can be used to administer the correct dose of medicine and track patient health when connected to an app that can gather data.

Respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are on the rise due to such factors as air pollution, active or passive smoking, exposure to certain chemicals or fumes, etc. According to World Health Organization, COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. This drives the market for digital respiratory devices, which include both therapeutic (inhalers, nebulisers) and diagnostic devices.

When it comes to traditional inhalers, there is no way of determining if they are being properly used and which prescription is suitable for a particular patient. The type of standard inhaler used varies according to the intensity of the respiratory disorder and the need for its diagnosis. Smart inhalers, on the other hand, can be used to administer the correct dose of medicine and track patient health when connected to an app that can gather data.

According to a report by The Insight Partners, the global smart inhalers market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 25.5 per cent during the forecast period of 2019 to 2027, to reach US$ 8033.21 million by 2027. Well-known companies like Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Glenmark, 3M, Pneuma Respiratory, AstraZeneca, Propeller Health, Adherium and Amiko Digital Health are among the leading organisations in this field. Glenmark, headquartered in Mumbai, launched the first digital inhaler in 2016.

UK-based Amiko, founded by Alessandro Fato, Alexander Marinov, Duilio Macchi and Martijn Grinovero in 2015, is a developer of advanced medication sensor technologies and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered digital health solutions. Their product Respiro is an end-to-end digital medicine solution that uses advanced smart inhalers and software to measure and improve outcomes for respiratory diseases.

Respiro’s AI-enabled add-on sensors can convert most standard inhalers into smart connected inhalers, which can then generate key medication use and inhalation data to assist in monitoring compliance, lung function and disease advancement. The mobile app devised for the patient receives this data and uses machine learning to deliver private user feedback for improved disease control via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The provider dashboard can be used for remote monitoring and AI-based therapy suggestions to help professionals make accurate decisions.

Arm Cortex-M was chosen as the appropriate solution. “There is no need to wait on backend infrastructure to process detailed sensor data. When the user presses the trigger, breath data pattern is instantly recognised, and the module provides low-latency, private user feedback,” Duilio Macchi, chief executive officer, Amiko, explains on www.arm.com
This gives better and personalised care to patients along with suitable treatment. With all data and tools, it becomes easy for healthcare professionals to deliver efficient service. Therapy outcomes can be measured by the health system so that the treatment and cost can be optimised.

The system has successfully delivered consistent improvements in treatment use and outcomes—37 per cent increase in controller medication adherence, 42 per cent improvement in optimal inhaler technique and 67 per cent reduction in rescue medication use.

With the addition of new features, healthcare solutions can be better than the existing ones.


 

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