Smart inhaler means never forgetting

  • 20/01/2015

A smart inhaler which reminds people to take their medication is revolutionising the treatment of asthma.

New research shows those with the smart inhaler are far better at managing their condition than those without.

Grace McCarthy isn't normally one to let asthma slow her down, unless she forgets to take her medication.

"Probably the worst is when I couldn't breathe for so long I had to go to hospital, which wasn't very nice."

It's a scenario familiar to thousands of Kiwis, and one which Auckland company Nexus 6 is working hard to prevent. It's developed a microcomputer which tracks how often someone is using their asthma medication and reminds people to take it when they forget.

"There is a real need for this type of technology, in particular doctors don't have visibility on how patients are using their medication," says CEO Garth Sutherland.

The results from a trial of 220 children aged between six & 15 are promising – 84 percent of those with a reminder inhaler took their medication, compared with just 30 percent without the technology.

"The main thing that's really exciting is that it also helps them with their asthma control," says Amy Chan, PhD student and researcher at Auckland University.

She hopes the technology could help those with other ailments too.

"Reminders might be helpful for things like people taking regular medication, such as heart medications, or possibly with blood pressure medications or diabetic medications."

The technology is already being used in Europe, the UK and the US.

"This technology has implications on child health for example at a global level, and so it's our responsibility to get it out to all those patients," says Mr Sutherland.

And improve their quality of life.

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source: newshub archive