The need for new ways
A critical factor in maintaining proper asthma control is the degree to which patients adhere to their assigned pharmacological regimen. Good adherence includes intensity and duration of medication, continuity of use, and correct use of inhalation. Over the past decades, researchers have had access to ineffective forms of monitoring medication adherence. These have mostly focused on methods such as pill counting or patient self-assessment. With the advent of the digital transformation more objective ways of monitoring adherence have been made possible. Although different types of methods are available to measure patients’ compliance, the vast majority of them do not include confirmation of the actual inhalation or dose.
Modern and intelligent solutions
Non-adherence to medication is now a global and complex health issue that is highly associated with increasing economic burdens and deteriorating health outcomes. Currently used methods consist of several measurements such as clinician assessments, self-assessment, evaluation of prescription data, and the use of electronic devices. The last-mentioned seems to be the most promising for assessing medication adherence, both in research studies and in real clinical settings. One such solution is smart-inhalers. For example, FindAir ONE device automatically sends usage data to a mobile app via Bluetooth. Patients receive reminders when it is time to take a particular medication. It also records the time and date and even the place of use. The FindAir app, therefore, acts as an asthma diary with constant access. Patients can use the inhaler with the FindAir ONE sensor as usual and receive access to information that couldn’t have been accessed before. It is also convenient because all the data is generated in the form of a report and can be easily presented to the doctor. All this information can be helpful and can support the doctors in assessing compliance with medical recommendations.
Monitoring medication adherence – benefits and future
Digital measurement of asthma control presents a very optimistic picture. Emerging technologies show great potential to increase adherence as well as to tailor asthma treatment. This will be effective in improving quality of life and reducing healthcare utilization. Modern technologies can be very effective in supporting medication adherence as they can be easily integrated with patients’ daily lives, especially when it comes to smart inhalers.