‘This opens up channels for patients to get their arms around their disease’
SAN MATEO, Calif. – Adherium recently received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market its smartinhaler sensor technology direct to consumers, paving the way for people with respiratory conditions to purchase the device over the counter, without a prescription.
“This is part of our overall strategy in the U.S.,” said Arik Anderson, CEO of Adherium, which plans to launch the technology here by the end of June.
Adherium’s smartinhaler sensor was developed for use with AstraZeneca’s Symbicort aerosol asthma inhaler. It is installed into a patient’s inhaler to monitor and promote asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease medication as part of a self-management plan, Anderson said.
The smartinhaler sensor records the date and precise time the inhaler is used and automatically transmits that data to an app on the patient’s phone or tablet. It also stores historical data on usage patterns, allowing physicians to review and help make evidence-based decisions.
“Adherence is not just about remembering to take your medication, but also to ensure you’re using it correctly,” said Anderson. “If the physician is not seeing positive results, they can use the data collected by the smartinhaler to dig deeper and see what’s actually going on. For the first time, this device provides the physician with the feedback that goes beyond patient recollection.”
The sensor design also includes three buttons that help patients access the audio/visual reminders, battery monitoring and Bluetooth wireless technology.
Anderson said several clinical studies over the past couple of years have shown that the use of the company’s smartinhaler technology can decrease visits to the emergency room and missed school days by young patients with asthma and COPD.
“They are good statistics, but if you don’t have access to the technology it can be frustrating,” he said.
Direct-to-consumer approval is a key step in Adherium’s journey through the health care system, said Anderson.
“This FDA approval begins to open up channels for patients to get their arms around their disease,” Anderson said. “It’s the beginning of being able to address the $34 billion problem of non-adherence to respiratory medication.”