A Novel Method Using a Smartphone to Capture and Analyse Patient Inspiratory Profiles
Szer Ming Lee, Kian Min Lim, David Harris & Phil Seeney
PA Consulting Group, Cambridge Technology Centre, Melbourn, Royston SG8 6DP, United Kingdom
A novel method using a smartphone to extract performance information from a dry powder inhaler (DPI) is presented. This demonstrates that the information can be acquired without altering or adding electronics to the inhaler. The benefit of this approach is two-fold: Firstly, it alleviates the need to add electronics to the inhaler, thus maintaining the inhaler cost and minimising development lead time; and, secondly, by using a standard smartphone to directly capture the signal, it provides immediate visual feedback to the user. It is observed that the acoustic signal produced by the inhaler has sufficient features that distinguish it in a low background noise environment, allowing the inspiratory flow characteristics to be identified and characterised. The extracted information is then displayed on the smartphone in near real-time. This novel approach will be beneficial to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma patients – and also to the healthcare professional – as it is a low-cost method that can improve inhalation technique, provide real-time performance feedback, and improve adherence monitoring and self-management.