Topic: Health

New smart inhaler dramatically reduces asthma symptoms

By Semi Holland

A new smart inhaler, which reminds people to take their asthma pump, has dramatically reduced asthma symptoms.

New research shows those who have used the device no longer suffer from regular asthma attacks.

There's less coughing and wheezing and they are more active.  The sound of music has helped reduce Kiana Hotere's asthma symptoms.

Father, Jason Hotere says, “After she started taking this thing she didn't go back to the hospital. Her asthma calmed down a whole lot. Now she doesn't get any attacks, she doesn’t get any seizures.”

Auckland company Nexus 6 has developed a microcomputer, which tracks how often someone is using their asthma medication and it reminds people to take it when they forget.

Amy Chan from The University of Auckland says, “The novelty of this is that the reminders actually built into the inhaler itself so that the people who are using the inhaler can associate the reminder with the medication that they're supposed to take.”

New Zealand has one of the highest asthma rates in the world. Chan says, Auckland University study results have been phenomenal.

According to Chan, “84% took their medications compared to only 30 percent in those who didn’t get the reminder.”

Patients and families they reported less coughing, less wheezing, less night-time wakenings.  Amy Chan says she hopes Nexus 6 can discuss with commercial partners and the government options on how the device can be funded or purchased, so asthma sufferers like Kiana Hotere can live a better life.