• The technology described in this briefing is Smartinhaler. It is a technology that monitors the activation of a person's asthma inhaler. This information is uploaded to a mobile or cloud-based application.

  • The innovative aspect is that this has the potential to allow real-time monitoring of adherence to asthma treatments. This information can be used to give reminders and share data between patients and clinicians.

  • The intended place in therapy would be for people with asthma in the community setting, together with personalised asthma plans and regular clinical review.

  • The key points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 5 randomised controlled trials from the UK, Australia and New Zealand, including a total of 589 people with asthma (adults and children) using Smartinhaler in a community setting. The authors conclude that Smartinhaler devices were more effective than standard care in improving adherence to asthma medication. Two of the studies showed significant improvement in some clinical outcomes.

  • Key uncertainties are that some of the available studies were either not designed to, or were not adequately powered to, show whether improved adherence is associated with significantly improved outcomes.

  • The cost of Smartinhaler devices is £100 per unit (exclusive of VAT), plus £14.17 per month for each healthcare professional to access cloud-based data.

  • The resource impact would be greater than standard care, because of the cost of the device and software access, unless reductions in GP and hospital visits were realised.