Breathe easy: Teva's Digihaler linked to improved asthma control in clinical trial

Asthma patients who use Teva Pharmaceutical’s Digihaler System are more likely to improve control of their condition than their counterparts who use standard-of-care albuterol inhalers, a 12-week clinical trial has found. 

Digihaler records the quantity and timing of inhaler use, plus data on quality parameters such as peak inspiratory flow, inhalation volume and inhalation duration, to support proper drug delivery. Because incorrect inhaler technique is widely seen and associated with poor asthma control, improving delivery could lead to better health outcomes.

To test that idea, investigators randomized more than 300 patients with suboptimal asthma control to use the Reliever Digihaler System, which comprises an albuterol inhaler, app, digital health platform and dashboard, or a standard-of-care albuterol inhaler for 12 weeks.

At the end of the treatment period, 61% of participants in the Digihaler group either had well-controlled asthma or had experienced an improvement in asthma control, versus 55% of their peers in the control arm. The researchers calculated that there was an 85.3% probability that participants using the Digihaler would have greater odds of achieving improvement in asthma control versus the standard inhaler. 

There were 52 interactions between participants in the Digihaler arm and healthcare professionals about poor inhaler technique, compared to one interaction in the control cohort. Manny Montalvo, senior vice president and head of digital health and innovation at Teva, framed the finding as a benefit of the digital system. 

“As shown in this study, a ‘smart’ digital health product like the ProAir Digihaler System that provides sensor-connected, fully integrated digital technology and objective data on inhaler use can elicit more discussions between physicians and patients on inhaler use and technique that can lead to greater adherence to treatment and reduced risk of asthma exacerbations,” Montalvo said in a statement.