Over 500 million US citizens suffer from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), indicating that the market for inhalers is ever increasing. Yet, one of the major obstacles that pharmaceutical companies that develop such inhalers face is the inefficiency and inaccuracy in drug delivery. People, it seems, aren’t able to use inhalers as effectively as one would hope.
With the continuous advancements in technology, pharmaceutical companies such as GSK, AstraZeneca and Novaratis have found a solution. Working alongside tech companies like US-based Propeller Health and Australian-listed Adherium, the aim is to create inhalers that have added features such as calculating dosage, alerting whether the inhaler is used properly through gyroscopic and acoustic sensors and checking the environment for possible allergens.
According to Adherium, less than 50% of inhaler users follow the directives given in using inhalers. Which is why partnering with AstraZeneca will create smart inhalers that would work by noting the time and date when the inhaler is first used and send that information to the customer’s mobile as well as to their physicians. This way a proper data profile is created to see whether the inhaler is being used properly or not.
However, with all the advantages the new-age technology offers, there are some negatives that exist as well. One of the features the smart inhalers offer is sending the patients information to their doctors or physicians as well as collecting data for their own servers. People who are wary of their information being used might not be a fan of this product. While the newer generation is expected to readily accept the product’s innovative use of such online applications, this might be a harder sell for the older generation who are cautious of such changes.