3M unveils intelligent inhaler

Published: 9-Nov-2017

Technology aims to solve patient competence and adherence challenges, minimising burden of financial pressures faced by health care providers

Research shows that an estimated 334 million people have asthma worldwide and 65 million people have moderate to severe COPD — a number that is expected to rise 24% by the year 2034 to make COPD the world’s third leading cause of death.(1,2,3)

As cases increase, driven by the ageing population, hospitals and care providers continue to see low levels of adherence and poor and inconsistent competence using current treatment devices. This has led to sub-optimal outcomes and higher rates of hospital admissions.

Answering the need for a solution to device misuse and adherence issues, 3M Drug Delivery Systems introduces the 3M Intelligent Control Inhaler, an intuitive, fully-integrated device that delivers accurate doses to patients, whilst providing on-screen instructions for use and feedback to the patient and health care provider via an app.

“Providing an effective and intuitive delivery method for respiratory disease treatment is critical to patients, health care providers and payers alike,” said Louise Righton, Global Marketing Operations Manager, 3M Drug Delivery Systems.

“Poor technique in using an inhaler, coupled with the challenges of getting patients to adhere to their medication protocols, can lead to exacerbations, increased use of health care resources and ultimately, a burden on health care systems. By increasing competence and adherence, we can realise better patient outcomes and reduce health care costs.”

The 3M Intelligent Control Inhaler provides a number of unique features that offer opportunities to improve outcomes by reducing patient variability and errors, and providing data on use to health care providers and payers:

  • controlled inspiration: a combination of breath actuation with innovative technology to control inspiratory flow rate significantly reduces errors in technique, and results in a much higher level of consistency of drug delivery between breaths and between patients
  • integrated patient instructions: the inhaler’s patient-proof design gives patients confidence to use the inhaler correctly and helps eliminate critical errors in use, as well as minimising the resources dedicated to training patients in correct inhalation technique
  • fully integrated device: the dose is registered when the patient correctly inhales medication rather than on actuation of the device, delivering greater accuracy of information for the patient, and cost-savings for health care providers who can avoid unnecessary switches and treatment escalation
  • capture of inspiration data: the inhaler utilises a data management platform to record not only device usage, but also inspiration profiles to help monitor disease progression, further supporting informed treatment decisions.

The device will be developed in partnership with a pharmaceutical company and is expected to be in wide use by the end of the decade.

“We have done a tremendous amount of research during the development of this technology with patients, health care providers, and payers,” said Dr Steven Wick, Technical Director, 3M Drug Delivery Systems.

“With 60 years of experience in inhalation technologies and 30 years in health information systems, 3M is uniquely qualified to bring forth a solution that is a definitive win for each of these stakeholders. Nothing has worked to improve inhaler technique in the past 25 years — and here we have a connected device to improve both competence AND adherence. The need for a smarter solution has never been greater and 3M intends to put greater control of respiratory disease into the hands of patients, health care providers and payers.”

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