The FDA has cleared the CapMedic device that helps to make sure that metered dose inhalers (MDIs) are properly used, even by young patients.
MDIs are most commonly employed to deliver asthma medications deep into the lungs, but to work effectively they have to be used correctly and on a consistent schedule.
The CapMedic snaps onto the top of many inhalers and, using built-in lights and a tiny speaker, it works to nudge users to inhale the medication correctly and at the right time. When a person is ready, the device talks them through all the steps, like shaking the inhaler, properly squeezing it while keeping it upright, and timing the inhalation just right.
The same device can snap onto an accompanying plastic adapter to turn it into an accurate at-home spirometer for lung function measurement. It can now measure FEV1, the maximum amount of air that the patient can push in a second, and PEF, the maximum flow one can generate at a steady rate.
Readings about usage and spirometer data are stored on an accompanying smartphone, helping patients, parents, and caretakers, make sure that the inhaled medication regimen is adhered to.
“Decades of studies have shown that almost 90% of patients are unable to use MDIs correctly – a result of their complex, multi-step usage requirements. The Cognita team has conducted drug deposition studies showing a tenfold improvement in the delivery of medication from just 4-5% to 45% when inhalers are used correctly,” said Rajoshi Biswas, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder at Cognita Labs, in the announcement. “Getting an effective daily dose means patients are more likely to avoid costly, life-threatening hospitalizations.”