‘Our long-term strategy is to become a global leader in digital health solutions’
MELBOURNE, Australia – As a lifelong asthma patient, Adherium CEO Garth Sutherland was excited to see his company’s Smartinhaler chosen for the myAirCoach program, part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework for Research and Innovation. He spoke with us recently about the role of technology in asthma and COPD management, and what’s next for his company.
HHTN: What does being chosen to participate in the myAirCoach program mean for Adherium and the Smartinhaler?
Sutherland: For such an eminent group of European Key Opinion Leaders to choose Smartinhaler to assess the impact of digital health solutions on asthma control and exacerbations is a major validation, not only of the role digital technologies can play in managing chronic respiratory diseases like asthma, but also in Smartinhaler as the leading solution in this space.
HHTN: How is the Smartinhaler unique to the market?
Sutherland: Current medical data technologies still have not fulfilled their potential for improving patient engagement. Several smart devices are available, but patient engagement remains elusive. With more than 15 years of experience and product in use in more than 30 countries, Adherium can leverage its extensive respiratory data set across the medical information value chain, aiming to deliver invaluable insights to patients to engage and trigger positive behaviour changes. Smartinhaler is also drug/brand agnostic and has matching devices for a range of inhaled drugs and inhaler types
HHTN: How is technology impacting home health care?
Sutherland: A perfect example of this is the myAirCoach program, which is to be a personalized user-friendly, cost-efficient and lightweight health self-management system that can give confidence to patients on how to manage their asthma to improve their day-to-day quality of life. The aim is to revolutionise asthma treatment by focusing on patient empowerment and engagement by introducing asthma monitoring and control in daily life to assess real-time fluctuations in asthma symptoms coupled with medication use, and to empower patients to promptly intervene through self-management advice to prevent exacerbations, asthma attacks or hospitalizations. The program also illustrates how technology is personalizing treatment and interaction with doctors, as myAirCoach will integrate Adherium’s Smartinhaler sensing infrastructure into clinical prediction models to provide personalized feedback to patients on how to manage their disease, perhaps guided by a virtual healthcare professional, decreasing the need to have frequent face-to-face contact with healthcare professionals.
HHTN: How is technology impacting health care for people with asthma?
Sutherland: Digital monitoring and interventions will become the chronic disease management standard of care in the not-too-distant future. Adherium improves the lives of people with asthma and COPD through real-time delivery of invaluable insights that will increase their awareness of their clinical state, as well as the adherence and effectiveness of medical treatment they follow.
HHTN: What’s next for Adherium?
Sutherland: Research and development is continuing on our next generation miniaturized devices for new inhalers and embedded devices, with enhanced features and sensor functionality to increase data collection. This includes our latest device, which is set to be launched this year, which has sensors for orientation sensing (or use) and inhalation detection for true dose confirmation, but this will only provide modest additional information beyond the objective record of drug use currently recorded. Our long-term strategy is to become a global leader in digital health solutions.