NuvoAir, a rapidly growing digital health company that recently landed Series A funding, has released an add-on sensor for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) inhalers as a part of its chronic care ecosystem. The NuvoAir Aos sensor brings additional data to the service platform enabling NuvoAir Care Coordinators and healthcare providers to assess inhaler technique, monitor inhaler use and evaluate treatment effectiveness.
An estimated 600 million people suffer from COPD and asthma around the world, with COPD reported as the third leading cause of death. Both require individuals to effectively manage their condition from home to prevent attacks of wheezing, breathlessness and coughing, and to stay out of the hospital. However, significant challenges continue with taking medications as prescribed and using inhalers correctly to ensure the right dosage is received. Despite access to effective medications, studies show that asthma is poorly controlled in over 50% of cases, and only 25-30% of people with asthma and COPD use their inhaler correctly.
The new add-on sensor offers help with these challenges. NuvoAir Aos (pronounced ā-ōs) can be added to pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) and works on both quick-acting reliever inhalers as well as long-term maintenance or preventer inhalers. For maintenance inhalers, Aos helps the NuvoAir care team and providers see whether medication is being taken as prescribed and, therefore, can better be evaluated for effectiveness. With quick-relief inhalers, tracking increased frequency of use, often due to worsening symptoms, helps individuals and their healthcare providers to understand trends and determine if adjustments to medications are needed to avoid life-threatening attacks.
Beyond tracking inhaler usage, Aos provides immediate feedback on inhaler technique. Improper technique is common and generally due to poor coordination when inhaling and pressing down on the medication. The colored light system on the sensor lets users know if their technique was good or suboptimal and feedback in the NuvoAir Home app provides more information on how to improve their technique. The quality of each inhalation is also shared in the clinician portal, which may trigger clinicians to provide additional training, if needed.
“The current healthcare model is designed to respond reactively and interventions often happen far too late, when people end up in an emergency situation,” Lorenzo Consoli founder and CEO said. “By leveraging our technology and clinical service, we are able to proactively intervene when early signs of declining health are detected. This not only improves outcomes for patients but also improves quality of care and reduces healthcare costs.”
The add-on sensor, together with other key data points collected in the NuvoAir Home platform – lung function, activity, air quality, cough, and symptoms – provides unparalleled insights to the NuvoAir care team and providers around the clinical impact of medication use and lifestyle changes, further supporting people with COPD and asthma to keep their condition under control and improve health outcomes. Aos will also be integrated with the NuvoAir decentralized clinical trials platform to monitor adherence and rescue usage, expanding opportunities for respiratory research.
NuvoAir Aos is available in the European market as part of the NuvoAir clinical service platform and is certified as a Class I medical device. It is expected to be released in the United States after FDA clearance in 2022.