Inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators are the cornerstone treatments for
asthma. The first medication helps control inflammation while the second provides immediate relief when symptoms flair. Inhalers are efficient when they’re used correctly, but up to 94 percent of people who use them don’t do so in the proper
manner. Studies also show about 50 percent of patients with asthma are not well controlled, which leads us to believe more can be done to increase adherence.
Enter Bluetooth-enabled smart inhalers. These devices are 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. Each time the inhaler is used, it records the date, time, place, and wheth
er the dose was correctly administered. Add-on devices, which clip to existing inhalers and send data to a smartphone app, are available now. In a clinical trial for Propeller’s add-on smart inhaler device, researchers found that participants used less reliever medication, had more reliever-free days, and improved overall asthma control over the 12 months of the study.