Adherium announced results from an independent, randomized controlled trial of its respiratory disease management tool, Smartinhaler. The year-long study, which involved children with poorly controlled asthma, revealed a significant reduction in hospital admissions over the course of 12 months, as well as substantial other health and quality of life benefits.
The STAAR study aimed to assess whether introducing digital adherence monitoring into routine practice could improve clinical outcomes in children with poorly controlled asthma; it was carried out at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in the UK, led by the University of Sheffield’s Dr Robert Morton and colleagues. Their findings were published online in the peer-reviewed medical journal Thorax this month.
“This study provides good evidence that adherence monitoring with feedback can significantly improve clinical outcomes when used in the management of children with poorly controlled asthma,” Dr Robert Morton, lead investigator at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said in a statement. “The benefits of the intervention were sustained over a prolonged period of time, and we have shown that this approach can be effectively administered in a clinically practical way. We would recommend this approach to be integrated into the standard care of children with poorly controlled asthma.”
Seventy-seven of the 90 recruited children completed the STAAR study. 38 children were in the intervention group using Smartinhaler adherence monitoring with medication reminders and feedback in the clinic, and 39 children received usual care as part of a control group. Drug use data were collected and children’s health outcomes were assessed at each three-month follow-up.
In the intervention group, adherence to prescribed medication averaged 70%, compared to 49% in the intervention group (p<0.001). The use of the Smartinhaler significantly increased medication adherence and this was maintained over the 12-month period. Nearly half of the children in the Smartinhaler intervention group maintained average adherence rates of >80% over the 12 months.
The need for a course of oral steroids, a marker of severe exacerbations, was 53% more common in the usual care group compared to the intervention group (p=0.008). Furthermore, the hospitalization rate was five times greater in the control compared to the Smartinhaler intervention group (p<0.001). This approximates to the prevention of 12 hospitalizations in one year among the children in the intervention group, making a cost-saving argument for introducing Smartinhaler into routine practice.
Additionally, the clinical benefits observed within the intervention group increased compared to the usual care group, particularly at nine and 12 months; with the intervention group requiring fewer courses of oral steroids, hospital admissions, days off school and GP/emergency department visits.
“Seeing a significant increase in medication adherence and reduction in asthma exacerbations combined with a reduction in children being admitted to hospital is proof of the clinical effectiveness of our Smartinhaler technology,” Garth Sutherland, CEO of Adherium, said in a statement. “The impact of adherence monitoring on the health of patients is clear and we continue to work with our partners to make it accessible to all those who would benefit.”