The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published a Medtech Innovation Briefing recognising that Adherium's Smartinhaler technology is more effective in improving adherence to asthma medication than current NHS practice.
Smartinhaler is a digital monitoring device attached to standard asthma inhalers, that provides users with medication reminders and also tracks inhaler usage.
The data collected is analysed by the Smartinhaler online platform, allowing for real-time monitoring of adherence to asthma treatments. This information can be shared between patients and clinicians, in the hope of securing the right care at the right time.
Adherium says that five randomised controlled trials in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, involving a total of 589 people with asthma who used Smartinhaler in a community setting, showed that the device beat the standard of care in improving adherence to therapy.
Use of the Smartinhaler could also help modify the approach to routine asthma reviews, with data used to identify those people who need more frequent review or those who can be seen less frequently, thus making better use of resources and improving the standard of care for patients.
Asthma UK also highlighted the potential for better self-management from this technology, and that this may result in fewer GP appointments, accident and emergency department attendance and ultimately more targeted interventions.
"Tracking and analysing a patient's inhaler trends online and in real-time means that we can address and improve adherence, reducing asthma attacks and hospitalisations. This not only saves time and money, but also by putting the monitoring app directly in the hands of the patient, enables them to manage their condition more effectively, improving quality of life," said Dr Louise Fleming, Clinical senior lecturer, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.
According to Asthma UK's 2016 annual asthma survey, the vast majority - 82 percent - of UK patients feel that their asthma is poorly controlled, while two thirds are still not receiving essential basic care, highlighting the high level of unmet need in the area.
"By adopting the digital technology that already exists and is so widely accepted in other areas of everyday life, we can help improve health outcomes," noted Garth Sutherland, Adherium's chief executive.