Boehringer and Qualcomm partner on COPD inhaler
- Boehringer Ingelheim and Qualcomm Life have signed a deal to develop a connected inhaler to help people with COPD, based on Boehringer’s Respimat inhaler and Qulacomm’s 2net technology
- The prototype device will include a small, wireless module that will track puffs from the inhaler, which could help improve adherence to the prescribed medication.
- Collaborations between pharma companies and digital technology providers are growing in importance. Qualcomm has agreements with Roche and Novartis, and Qualcomm and GSK were in talks earlier in 2016 to develop medical technologies.
Poor adherence in diseases like COPD increases the risk of patients having to go into hospital, leads to greater healthcare costs and often means patients see worse outcomes. Well-designed inhalers deliver the right amount of drug to the right part of the lung, but some people can find them challenging or confusing.
This is where the Internet of Things (IoT), through collaborations with technology providers such as Qualcomm, could come to the rescue. Long touted as the way to link devices to the internet, IoT could have implications for medical technology (such as inhalers) as well.
“Qualcomm Life is committed to powering the Internet of Medical Things to ultimately enable intelligent care to be delivered wherever the patient may be,” said Rick Valencia, president, Qualcomm Life, Inc, in a statement.
The kind of real-world data coming out of these kinds of devices can reassure doctors their patients are using a product correctly and are adhering to the treatment regimen. Physicians can also see if patients are having problems, allowing healthcare professionals to provide the right level of support.
No financial details were disclosed. The collaboration will be unveiled at Qualcomm Life’s Connect 2016 conference on August 30 and August 31.
- Qualcomm Statement
- MobiHealth News Novartis, Qualcomm Life to develop connected inhaler for COPD
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