Smart sensor helps asthma patients track inhaler use

18 August 2017

According to statistics by Asthma UK1 , every 10 seconds somebody is having an asthma attack. Asthma is a long-term condition which impacts the muscles around the walls of the airways (the tubes which carry air in and out of your lungs) and causes them to tighten so that the airways become narrower, making it difficult to breathe.

Asthma is often treated with inhaled medication, to either prevent further attacks or relieve symptoms quickly. However, patients can make mistakes while inhaling – leading to inefficient usage of drugs. AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards finalist Inspair is a device developed by French health technology company Biocorp to help manage asthma.

Monitoring medication delivery

Inspair by Biocorp is a compact smart sensor turning traditional inhalers into connected medical devices. It provides an insight into how inhaled medication is delivered to people living with asthma, helping patients to improve their inhalation technique and enhance asthma self-management.

Pulmonary (lungs) drug delivery is a complex process requiring a specific inhalation technique. When this isn’t correctly done, it can then have an impact on the quality of life of the patient, worsen symptoms and result in more strain on healthcare resources.

The Inspair sensor is designed to clip on to standard metered-dose inhalers and connects to smartphones using Bluetooth. The sensor measures the breath-hand coordination, speed of inspiration and doses inhaled, providing a clear picture of the inhalation process, with audio and visual feedback to help patients improve their inhalation technique.

Facilitating self-management of asthma

Jean Vuillecard, Product Innovation Manager at Biocorp, explains that the increasing prevalence and cost of chronic health conditions is shaping healthcare going forward. “Self-management represents 95% of chronic diseases care – we should be educating patients to take care of themselves while keeping an eye on their symptoms and treatment delivery.”

The Inspair platform can be adapted to a user’s specific requirements. Streamlining and optimising clinical trials through remote technology is increasingly in demand, and Biocorp is working to adapt Inspair for the purpose of clinical trials.

Success after the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards

Since being shortlisted in the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards, Biocorp has been made a finalist of the eHealth Competition in Barcelona, which rewards the best eHealth solution developed by a European SME, and also recently won an innovation award delivered by the eHealth Summer University in Castres, France.

Jean adds: “We are very proud to have been made finalists of the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards - it has kick-started a series of acknowledgements in the health technology world.”

¹Asthma UK. 2017. Asthma facts and statistics | Asthma UK. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.asthma.org.uk/about/media/facts-and-statistics. [Accessed 31 July 2017].