Respiratory devices manufacturers are offering smart inhalers with sensors and inter-connected apps and digital platforms focused on studying usage patterns, and measuring peak respiratory flow rate. Digital connectivity allows patients to connect the inhalers to their mobile phones or personal computers to set timely alarms to plan the daily dosage. This allows companies to improve patients’ asthma therapies by ensuring adherence to the prescription, thus keeping their condition under control. The use of such smart inhalers reduces emergency hospitalizations due to asthma attacks, and makes treatments well-planned and organized. Adherium, a smart inhaler manufacturing company, has received 510(k) clearance for over-the-counter sales of its inhaler monitoring device for AstraZeneca’s Symbicort aerosol inhaler. Other smart inhalers in the respiratory devices market include Propeller Health, ProAir Digital Inhaler, and Gecko’s Inhaler.
In 2018, Consort Medical, a UK-based medical device company, surveyed patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to understand their perspectives on innovations in respiratory devices. Over 60% of respondents preferred digital connectivity of inhalers and respiratory devices to improve their medical condition. Furthermore, 48% of the surveyed patients preferred connectivity to help predict emergencies and aggravations.
The same study interviewed pulmonologists and nearly 45% of the industry participants admitted that the major benefit of the digitization of respiratory devices is the improvement of the pulmonologist’s engagement and development of health informatics.
The global anesthesia and respiratory devices market was estimated at $21.2 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow to $22.9 billion in 2022 at an annual growth rate of 2.61%. Technological advances are expected to be a key driver of the global anesthesia and respiratory devices market. Various technological improvements are being carried out to increase the efficacy of medical devices along with patient satisfaction. Introduction of wearable devices with remote access by physicians to monitor chronic conditions such as COPD is expected to drive the market for respiratory devices in the coming years.
Wearable respiratory devices are mainly worn on the torso and are used to calculate the patient’s breathing rate by measuring movements of the chest wall. They are available in various forms such as small dimensional sensors, belts, and band-aid like devices. These devices are usually connected to specialty smartphone apps that capture and interpret data and store the data in cloud data repositories focusing on main areas of respiratory healthcare including pulse oximetry, pulmonary ventilation, air quality assessment, and activity tracking. Wearable respiratory devices reduce the workload of healthcare providers, improve the efficiencies of diagnostics, reduce costs incurred by patients in regular checkups and improve patients’ comfort. Researchers at the University of California and Khine Labs are investing in major research projects to develop comfortable wearables for patients suffering from respiratory diseases.