Digital asthma intervention: Better health, lower costs

A pharmacy-supported digital programme improved therapy and technique adherence for uncontrolled asthma patients, leading to better asthma control.

Digital intervention was also associated with larger annual saving costs

“Adherence to therapy and an adequate inhaler technique are essential for optimal asthma control,” explained Mr Luca Ponti (Amiko Digital Health, Italy). The current study compared a pharmacy-supported digital medicine programme, including inhaler sensors, mHealth apps, and in-person pharmacy-based counselling, with a traditional pharmacy-based patient support programme in 68 participants with uncontrolled asthma.

The adherence to therapy was 82% in the experimental arm and 30–50% in the control arm. Furthermore, the digital intervention appeared to improve the rate of correct inhalation technique as compared with the control arm (64% vs 31%). Next, the authors looked at asthma control at the end of the study. Asthma control scores had improved by an average of 5.9 points in the intervention arm compared with 2.9 points in the control arm (P=0.007). Moreover, the digital intervention was associated with a larger annual cost saving than the control arm (€466; P=0.04).

“The combination of inhaler sensors, mHealth applications, and pharmacist counselling may improve adherence and inhalation technique in patients with uncontrolled asthma, leading to improved asthma control and cost savings,” concluded Mr Ponti.

  1. Onnis C, et al. Effect of pharmacy-supported digital medicine program on asthma control. ALERT 2, RCT2162, ERS International Congress 2022, Barcelona, Spain, 4–6 September.