How Digital Health Technologies Could Make a Difference

The spotlight will be on digital health products at the upcoming BIOMEDevice San Jose show. Hear now from one company making an impact.

Image courtesy of Adherium

Digital technologies are already changing healthcare. Adherium’s Hailie sensor, for instance, which transforms a traditional inhaler into a smart device, is already reportedly demonstrating reductions in emergency hospital visits. Mark Jones, vice president of R&D for Adherium, will share the story behind Hailie at BIOMEDevice San Jose’s Digital Health Product Spotlight on December 6. He’ll be joined by other digital technology trailblazers Angela McIntyre, executive director of eWear (Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative); Chalisa Prarasri, CEO & co-founder, Opter; Jacques Ginestet, head, wearables, Proteus Digital Health; and Barrett Larson, MD, co-founder and CEO, Leaf Healthcare.

Vik Panda, vice president of marketing for Adherium, told MD+DI that Hailie’s functional tracking and reminders can help with medication adherence. The Bluetooth-enabled sensor connects to a smartphone app that records adherence and sends patient reminders. “There is a growing body of evidence that the use of our system reduces the number of missed school days for children and reduces the number of emergency visits to the hospital,” he said.

Hailie is being put to work in the SmartAirLA program for asthmatic children. Thanks to a grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation and in-kind donations from Adherium, SmartAirLA will enable clinicians and patients to monitor children’s medication usage. “It is a good opportunity for a large public impact and to show how adherence can help with outcomes,” Panda said. “Los Angeles has one of the largest populations of children with asthma, and many are in a lower socioeconomic class.”

Earlier this year, Adherium received 510(k) clearance from FDA for OTC sales of its sensors for AstraZeneca’s Symbicort aerosol asthma inhaler, GSK’s Ventolin HFA and Flovent HFA, and Teva Pharmaceuticals’ ProAir HFA, and a few months later began providing Hailie directly to patients.

“We’ve seen a lot of traction with patients willing to pay out of pocket to subscribe to the Hailie solution, and we are seeing an increase in the level of engagement as they use it,” said Panda.

The company has received feedback from parents that Hailie makes a difference. “Within just a few days of device use, parents are excited about not having to remember to encourage their children to take medication,” he said.

In terms of advice for other digital health innovators, Panda warns others that “there is a myth that FDA clearance may not be necessary, especially for software-only companies. That’s wishful thinking. We think it is a necessity.

“It is really important to gather clinical evidence,” he added. “Credibility is a huge aspect of what we do. Patients will want to see it—they are more tech savvy and scrutinize things more—they want to see proof.”

Jones advises innovators to “look at user experiences and make systems easy and simple to use for patients to use in daily life to help improve behaviors and administer chronic disease management.”

Adherium continues to expand commercially in the United States, focusing on direct-to-consumer programs. “Enterprise partnerships will be announced soon in and around the healthcare system,” said Panda. Also planned are additional devices using its medication adherence platform in order to increase broad coverage of medications. “We are leveraging learnings in respiratory across conditions in the future,” he added.

Be sure to hear Jones and his fellow digital health innovators discuss their devices and the designs used to bring them to life. They’ll also share their challenges with funding and commercialization. BIOMEDevice San Jose’s Digital Health Product Spotlight will take place December 6 at 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM at Center Stage - Booth 641.

 

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of MD+DI. She previously served as executive editor of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, which serves as the pharmaceutical and medical device channel of Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered medical device packaging, labeling, manufacturing, and regulatory issues as well as pharmaceutical packaging for more than 20 years. She is also a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals's Medical Device Packaging Technical Committee. Follow her on Twitter at @daphneallen.

 

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