Adherence has long been recognised as a cause of unachieved outcomes and therefore presents an opportunity to address. Over the decades, waves of resources and solutions have been thrown at the problem of chronic non-adherence, to little effect. What is new, is the wave of miniaturised, connected and consumer-driven technology that has washed over all aspects of modern life in the last decade.
The ability to record patient use and upload it to the clinician is one reason the Smartinhaler™ platform’s first, and biggest group of users was medical researchers. Nearly two decades on, the Smartinhaler™ system has been overhauled to be more consumer-friendly and is now available for patients to purchase directly online as a subscription, with the initial launch being done in the company’s backyard – New Zealand. Health professionals will also find the combination of ease of use and communications technology vital for increasing adherence and communication. Instead of relying on self-reporting of inhaler use, they can examine an objective record, just as medical researchers do, which has numerous applications in primary healthcare.
In clinical practice, these features may aid healthcare professionals to make better clinical decisions by supporting medication and dosing regimens. It can help identify the high-risk poorly adherent population who rely on their relievers to manage their disease and under-use preventers, determine which patients are treatment resistant (or simply non-adherent), help understand individual medication behavior and allow for tailored interventions.
For patients, the Smartinhaler™ platform is designed to empower them to self-manage their respiratory disease by tracking their own medication usage, improve medication adherence and facilitate constructive conversations with their health providers. Furthermore, for parents and caregivers, the Smartinhaler™ platform can be a useful tool to monitor their families’ respiratory disease.