Propeller Health research suggests asthma guidelines update

Clinical guidelines for determining asthma control were set many years ago, and now new research from Propeller Health suggests that those guidelines should be updated.

The research was done in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. It showed that both patients and providers can get a better view of a patient’s medication when digital sensors are used to record the number of incidents of rescue inhaler use.

Digital data, the research found, can be used to more accurately measure and assess asthma control than the current method, which uses patient-reported data. Patient-reported data can be skewed by both patient recall bias and healthcare provider interpretation of that patient’s data.

The new evidence suggests that occasions of rescue inhaler use, recommended in the 2009 American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society Task Force as an asthma control metric, be reconsidered—specifically, there is no clear, natural definition of an “occasion” in the task force’s guidelines. On the other hand, the reporting of puffs by digital devices is objective and more easily standardized in clinical research, said Dr. David Stempel, senior vice president of medical affairs for Propeller Health.

“The digital era gives us a new way to gain a much better understanding of the overuse of rescue medication,” Stempel said.

The study consisted of more than 3,000 patients, who were provided with Propeller Health’s digital medicine platform to connect patients’ inhalers with an attached sensor that reports that date and time of inhaler use. Using data from the platform, Propeller Health could objectively assess how many times patients used their rescue inhalers, which provided a more accurate picture of their medication use than did traditional reporting methods.

“Hopefully the patient will be the big winner,” Stempel said of the research findings, “because it will mean better care.”

Propeller Health, a McKesson Ventures portfolio company, is a leading digital therapeutics company dedicated to the development and commercialization of measurably better medicines. Its digital health platform is used by patients, physicians, and healthcare organizations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Read the full story in Home Health Technology News.