Kyle Wilson


Adherence to asthma and COPD medication by patients is a significant problem, leading to a substantial number of patients not gaining the maximum treatment benefit – which, in turn, leads to avoidable hospital admissions and even deaths. Also, the economic burden associated with this issue is significant. Connected inhalers in combination with respective health platforms are the tool to overcome the problem. Despite the benefits for various stakeholders, especially for Pharmaceutical companies, connected inhalers for asthma and COPD medications have not scaled yet. This paper contributes to understanding the hurdles to, and measures for a broad market adoption of connected inhalers further. It analyses these hurdles and respective measures with the aid of a study carried out across connected asthma and COPD care experts from Pharmaceutical companies. Overall, the analysis is based on more than one hundred hurdles and measures identified by twenty experts participating in the study. The key hurdles identified are the costs of connected inhalers as well as Pharmaceutical company related aspects, for example other priorities being set. On a more individual measure level, lowering device costs, prove benefits, convince payers by added value and engage patients are the key measures acknowledged. Furthermore, the paper discusses the results in light of the six key regime characteristics for social-technical inertia identified by Steinhilder et. al. indicating that complementing the measures stated by the experts with incentivising patients and a more value-based view on the business model of Pharmaceutical companies for connected inhalers is meaningful.

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