In a groundbreaking initiative, Leicester has launched a pioneering study using Adherium’s Smart Inhalers to prevent asthma flare-ups among children and young people. This study, a first in the UK, systematically identifies high-risk children through GP records and offers them a chance to benefit from innovative asthma management technology.

Up to 300 children aged 5-16 will receive the Hailie device, which attaches to their standard inhalers. The Hailie device provides audible reminders, monitors inhaler usage and technique, and sends real-time feedback to both the child’s family and their medical team via a smartphone app. This connectivity aims to facilitate early intervention and reduce the frequency of asthma exacerbations by ensuring adherence to medication.

Dr. Erol Gaillard, leading the study at the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, highlights the transformative potential of this approach: “We know that adherence to asthma medication is a common struggle. This study represents a collaborative effort across the NHS, academia, charities, and the MedTech industry to prove how Smart Inhalers can enhance asthma management and keep children out of hospitals.”

Asthma affects about one million children in the UK, making it the most prevalent long-term condition in this age group. Despite this, the UK has one of the highest rates of emergency admissions and mortality from childhood asthma in Europe, largely preventable with better management and early intervention. The situation is more severe in deprived areas like Leicester, where nearly half of the young population lives in income-deprived households, exacerbating health disparities.

The Hailie device, developed by Adherium Europe Limited, a leader in respiratory eHealth and remote patient monitoring, will be supported by Helicon Health Ltd in this study. This effort is also backed by several regional and national organizations, including the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board and Asthma + Lung UK, with significant funding from SBRI Healthcare.

With a focus on reducing the need for rescue medication and lowering the incidence of asthma flare-ups, this study could set a new standard for asthma care in the UK, potentially transforming the lives of thousands of children.

Article written by Oliver Johnson



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