By Jeff Lagasse | September 01, 2017

Melbourne, Australia-based Adherium, a digital health company that focuses in improving medication adherence and patient outcomes, has just received FDA clearance for a new inhaler monitoring device for AstraZeneca’s Symbicort aerosol inhaler, dubbed the SmartTouch for Symbicort.

The SmartTouch is a device that grafts onto a patient’s inhaler to monitor and encourage medication adherence as part of a self-management plan. It’s the latest product in Adherium’s product portfolio, and is geared toward respiratory patients who deal with ailments such as asthma and COPD.

While medication adherence is a necessary component in managing a slew of chronic diseases, a lot of patients skimp on their recommended dosages, often taking between one third and one half of their prescribed medications, according to the company.

Adherium CEO Arik Anderson said in a statement that the SmartTouch for Symbicort is the most advanced smart inhaler product to date for the company, and a key product in its collaboration with AstraZeneca.

“With each new generation, our smart inhalers get smaller, easier to use, and incorporate more sensors that generate higher quality data, and higher levels of medication adherence,” said Anderson. “This is Adherium’s third U.S. 510(k) clearance to market. In addition, the company has secured clearances in Europe, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore and New Zealand.”

The device records the date and time the inhaler is used and automatically transmits the information to an app on the patient’s phone or tablet. The SmartTouch stores the history of patient medication usage patterns, which in turn allows physicians to review the information and help make evidence-based decisions on the proper course of action.

It can be used in home monitoring programs — such as hospital readmission prevention programs — in which it’s especially important to adhere to medication plans after discharge from the hospital.

The company said its SmartTouch for Symbicort is easy to install and remove, and includes three buttons that help patients easily access the audio visual-reminders, battery monitoring, and Bluetooth low-energy pairing features.

Anderson took over the helm at Adherium in June after former CEO Garth Sutherland stepped down into an executive director role on the company’s board. In January it installed Scott Fleming as its vice president of business development. Fleming successfully sold his cofounded company MicroDose to Teva Pharmaceuticals and became Global Brand Lead for eConnectivity of Teva’s respiratory franchise.

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