Until relatively recently, treating, monitoring and controlling respiratory conditions such as asthma centred on conventional devices, paper-based tools and appointments with a GP or asthma nurse. This approach of course still plays a huge role for the over 300 million people living with asthma globally, as prescribed medication coupled with patient education is widely acknowledged as the most effective management strategy. However, a deeper understanding of the greater efficiency at hand through the vastly increasing use of digital applications and the palpably mounting pressure that can be felt on healthcare bodies globally has seen a shift in the context of respiratory disease management.
A greater understanding of cultural shifts, technological change and consumer expectations is dramatically altering the cultural context and reference points these condition management strategies exist within. This in turn is creating exciting opportunities for new MDI devices and supporting applications that enhance overall treatment capabilities and outcomes.
The first pMDI, Medihaler, was launched in 1956 courtesy of Riker Industries and represented the most disruptive innovation of its time. Still recognisable in many redesigned formats, the initial model has informed much of the pharmaceutical aerosol industry as we know it today. However, respiratory health and MDI manufacturing development and design have evolved at a considerably more rapid pace in the last three decades, offering patients and HCPs an altogether more sophisticated multifaceted solution. As with many chronic conditions, when considered more broadly in relation to the individual’s needs and aspirations, the future trajectory of management and treatment available changes dramatically. Being able to react to the many factors that affect or trigger the patient’s symptoms has resulted in innovative management strategies that harness new digital technology and the use of data that benefit both the patient and HCP, ultimately strengthening the overall relationship between the two. Equally, refining design of devices beyond the traditional initial MDI to further enhance the efficiency of drug delivery has resulted in this new era of inhalation therapeutics.
“Respiratory pharma brands are thinking beyond the daily management of asthma as a medical condition or illness. By gathering relevant insights from other influencing factors, such as air quality and diet, new systems empower the patient to embrace asthma as part of their complete wellness regime so that they feel informed and in control of their respiratory health.” Miles Hawley CEO Recipe Design
The digital revolution has brought with it a myriad of innovations altering the landscape for medical devices and drug delivery systems. Owing to smart, mobile and wearable technology, AI, IoT and manufacturing advancements, the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry can now offer patients a level of care like never before. The ability to obtain insights specific to an individual’s device usage, the efficacy of delivery, compliance and lived experience of respiratory conditions enables the provision of better treatment outcomes as a result of the personalised nature of the new technology available. More detailed information for healthcare professionals, improved interfaces and attuned innovation from device and component manufacturers have overhauled what it means to live with, treat and manage respiratory conditions on a day-to-day basis. The increased power that now sits directly with patients and the ongoing expansion in data available to HCPs have improved the nature of disease management approaches in an unprecedented manner.