Cleveland Clinic researchers have suggested to incorporate an electronic inhaler monitoring (EIM) program for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.
The study has been initiated by the said researchers and results were disclosed at the 2018 American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference, in San Diego, California.
The EIM device allows real-time tracking of the usage of medication. Hence, this audits adherence and basically lowers health care utilization of COPD patients.
Dr. Umur Hatipoglu from the Cleveland Clinic sat down with MD Magazine where he explained why there is a link between EIM and lower health care utilization among COPD patients who are often hospitalized and visit the emergency departments.
‘’We prescribe medications, inhaled medications for patients with COPD all the time. It’s really the cornerstone of their therapy, and when they return to the clinic we do ask them whether they’re using their medications or not and we are left with yes or no. Yes I’m using it, no I’m not using it,’’ Dr. Hatipoglu said.
‘’But the reality is, there’s a continuum of use. People are adherent a percentage of the time to their medications, and we never know what that number is objectively. I think electronic inhaler monitoring allows that to happen. You basically have the patient with you, and you’d have a percentage of adherence. And if that percentage of adherence is lower than what is expected, you could conduct a discussion with the patient as to why that may be. Maybe they’re not even aware, it’s unwitting adherence problems and this could potentially improve patient outcomes’’, he added.
With the use of state-of-the-art devices for measuring adherence, this could lead to a breakthrough on chronically ill patients suffering from COPD.