A Clinical Doctor's Explanation of Health Tech in Asia (Series＃3）
The second part: “Whizz”, an innovation in bronchial asthma inhalation therapy
Could it be a solution to an unmet need in bronchial asthma treatment?
Therapeutic validation and product development of “Whizz”
As described in the previous article, “Whizz” uses an on-board flow rate monitor to measure inhalation rate and evaluate whether pMDI is effective. The LED panel on the surface of the device shows green if the rate is sufficient and red if it is insufficient, making it easy to check. This can be used even without medication and is expected to be more than effective as an inhalation practice device.
It is difficult for children and the elderly to evaluate whether they are inhaling sufficiently, and the technique is often inconsistent, so being able to evaluate whether the technique is effective each time is very useful. It is also a great motivator to be able to check it yourself, rather than having someone else check it for you. Therefore, to make it easy for both children and parents to use, the Reward system was set up to be linked to the app, making it easy to check the usage status, and to be game-like.
Furthermore, by using the reminder function, the timing of inhalation, which is often forgotten, can be notified, and the usage history and the percentage of accurate inhalation can be objectively checked in monthly reports, which will help improve compliance.
Source: Meracle Pte Ltd
Issues and problems in asthma treatment in daily practice
I treat all kinds of internal diseases in my clinic, and I have many opportunities to treat asthma patients, and I occasionally encounter patients whose asthma control is not stable. There are patients who have almost no allergic predisposition and few problems in their living environment, but who suffer from frequent asthma attacks that restrict their life. In such cases, with the increasing number of treatment options nowadays, we may consider changing to a stronger treatment. Even so, there are many cases where there is little visible improvement or poor response. For severe asthma, the use of biological agents is now possible, but it is also a very expensive treatment (more than 100,000 Japanese yen per month) and is not practical.
In elderly patients and patients with cardiovascular diseases, frequent use of short-acting beta-agonist (SABA) *¹and use of high-dose long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) can increase tachycardia and cause exacerbations such as heart failure. For asthma patients with poorly controlled asthma, it is necessary to make sure that they are inhaling properly. We check with the patients and their families to see if they are using the drug every day as directed and if they are inhaling properly.
However, this can be very difficult for elderly patients. If there is an obvious lapse in medication, that makes it easier. Although, there are many cases where the patient thinks they are inhaling, but they are not inhaling enough or not inhaling in sync.
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A Series of Articles