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Optimising inhaler use through digital intervention 

It is estimated that up to a half of all medicines prescribed for long-term conditions are not taken as recommended. The use of ‘smart inhalers’ may improve these rates for people with COPD and asthma. A NICE Medtech innovation briefing noted that they are more effective than the current standard care asthma treatment. Asthma UK suggested they could lead to better self-management, fewer appointments and emergency admissions and, ultimately, more targeted interventions.

Turbu+ (AstraZeneca) is a personal medication tracker which aims to help people with COPD and asthma manage their condition more effectively. It fits to the base of a patient’s inhaler. Patients receive information on their medication use via a mobile phone app. The Oxford AHSN is carrying out a real world evaluation to see if the Symbicort Turbohaler digital intervention supports improvements in health outcomes. Over 200 patients are being recruited to a study.

Partners: Modality Partnership (provider of primary healthcare and community services across the UK), Ashfield Healthcare, York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC).