HailieTM Technology Helps Seniors with COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an irreversible disease that may require the use of medication, such as short and long-acting bronchodilators and corticosteroids.

However, elderly people with COPD often have difficulty remembering if they’ve taken their inhaler treatments. They may forget to take them altogether, skip doses, or use them more often than they should.    

When used as prescribed, inhaler medications can be a lifeline to improved outcomes for people with COPD. But when seniors don’t take these medications properly, the results can be deadly.

Almost 15.7 million Americans reported that they’ve been diagnosed with COPD. It was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2014. 1

To help them take pills properly, elderly patients can use pill organizers or computerized pill-box dispensers that generate reminders. However, until Hailie™ technology, they didn’t have a connected device to remind them when they used their inhalers.

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Low medication adherence

Unfortunately, medication adherence in seniors with COPD is very low, even though they know their condition could get worse.2 When medication adherence drops in the elderly, COPD complications can quickly become serious.

In the past, healthcare providers relied on different methods to assess adherence with inhaler medicines. They simply reviewed patients’ refill history, or weighed their inhalers to see how much medication was left in the canister.

Additionally, they had to rely on the information their patients provided, leaving them wondering if what they were told was accurate.  These methods often misrepresented the patient’s adherence with prescribed inhaled medications, making it difficult for providers to determine the truth.   

“One study demonstrated that poor adherence to a combination of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting b2-agonist (LABA) increases risk of hospitalization by 58% and death by 40%.” 3

The Solution—Hailie™ sensors  

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Hailie™ sensors have been used in research for years. They easily attach to inhalers and record when they’re used (or not). They then automatically send this data via Bluetooth® to a designated smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Hailie™ devices are compatible with metered-dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers. They send reminders to use the inhaler as per medication prescription, and provide accurate and reliable records of inhaler use. When this data is shared with clinicians, the clinicians can use it to tailor a patient’s care. Tracking inhaler use may reveal when symptoms worsen and what may be causing the issues. This data can allow for a more individually tailored COPD management plan. 

“The use of electronic monitoring devices (EMD) for inhalers is growing rapidly because of their ability to provide objective and detailed adherence data to support clinical decision making.”  (The National Institutes of Health, NCBI) 4 

The Hailie™ system is comprised of sensors, smartphones, audiovisual medication reminders, cloud data storage, and wireless technology that can improve patient compliance. If the patient chooses to share the information, the technology also gives healthcare providers access to a rich database of medication use that can be used to achieve better health outcomes for their patients. 

“Medication non-adherence is a major problem and is one driver of acute presentations to clinics and emergency departments. So, the potential is there for this technology to make a meaningful impact.” Satish Misra, MD, cardiology fellow at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. 5

Proper self-management and compliance with inhaled medicines helps seniors with COPD manage their symptoms more effectively. It can also reduce the progression of the disease and promote independence.

With today’s digital technology, seniors, their loved ones, and physicians can all monitor inhaler use and keep their COPD well controlled. 

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  1. https://www.cdc.gov/copd/index.html#3 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629978/ 
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19703830
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25840665
  5. http://www.rtmagazine.com/2015/10/smart-inhalers-future-respiratory-health-management/ 

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