Today, ‘smart devices’ are big business in a multitude of industries. Recently it was revealed that patients using inhalers, or ‘puffers’ may not be using them properly, which could affect not only the health of patients, but company profits if patients are using the devices incorrectly. As suppliers of pharmaceutical coding and marking solutions, we found this latest revelation very revealing.
Essentially, companies who manufacture inhalers are racing to develop a new generation of smart devices which include sensors to determine whether patients are using the devices in the manner prescribed. According to a Reuters article, the gadgets are part of a medical IOT, or Internet of Things, which link wirelessly to the cloud and are said to improve better health outcomes due to correct use of the medications. Not only would patients be able to check how they use inhalers, doctors would have this ability as well, according to drug makers who believe correct use would substantiate the value of the medications to both insurers and governments.
Since about 1970, care for breathing/lung issues has been revolutionized through the use of inhalers that deliver medications directly to the lungs and work to circumvent the often serious side effects experienced with oral drugs. However, many patients still face a challenge when it comes to using “puffers” correctly.
According to Imperial College London consultant physician, Omar Usmani, the best drug in the inhaler won’t be as effective as it potentially could be if the wrong technique is employed. Reports claim approximately 500 million individuals around the globe suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma. Last year, a report compiled by Goldman Sachs analysts found that in the U.S. alone, healthcare costs could be reduced by about $19 billion per year by improving adherence.
It all boils down to the fact that many patients don’t fully understand how to use their inhalers properly, or forget to use them altogether. This results in patients not getting the optimal results they could get if they used the devices as they should be used. In August, AstraZeneca will begin a U.S. clinical trial over a one-year period designed to improve adherence to long-term therapy using Adherium’s smart inhaler for about 400 patients suffering from COPD.
Inhalers, or “puffers” as some patients with asthma or COPD refer to the devices, can be confusing to use, particularly for older patients.
At REA JET, we provide exceptional pharma coding and marking systems. For all of your marking solutions, rely on a trusted name in the industry around the world.