A new international study led by RCSI University of Medicine and Well being Sciences has revealed important possible for digital technologies to increase asthma manage for individuals.

The study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, examined the effectiveness of combining facts from digital device in a digital platform to correctly handle uncontrolled asthma. The findings, which on typical led to a healthcare expense reduction of €3,000 per patient, demonstrate the future possible of digital medicine in the management of several chronic ailments.

Asthma is a single of the most prevalent chronic respiratory situations, affecting hundreds of millions of persons worldwide. Steroid medicines can correctly treat and handle asthma, if delivered into the airways effectively and in a timely manner working with an inhaler. About a single in ten persons with asthma uncover they can’t manage their asthma symptoms with inhalers, nonetheless, generally experiencing serious attacks or needing stronger medication. It is believed that in some of these situations, individuals could not be working with the inhalers correctly.

To assess this, physicians usually have had to rely on patients’ personal reports about their inhaler use and symptoms to adjust drugs. Now, novel technologies created by the INCA Analysis Group at RCSI can provide and monitor asthma care in a absolutely digital manner.

The Inhaler Adherence in Extreme Unstable Asthma (INCA-SUn) study, led by the INCA Analysis Group, involved much more than 200 individuals with serious or hard-to-manage asthma at ten centres across Ireland, Northern Ireland and England. Half of participants (the ‘control’ group) had been monitored working with regular procedures whilst the remaining participants (the ‘active’ group) had their inhaler use monitored by a device named an INCA.

Co-created by RCSI and Trinity College Dublin, the INCA device supplies an objective assessment of how individuals use their inhalers, by measuring acoustic or sound-wave signals from the inhaler. The information is supplied to the patient’s healthcare provider via a digital clinical choice platform which advises the most effective therapy, which could include things like educating the patient on productive inhaler strategy.

The study revealed that individuals assigned to the ‘active’ group enhanced their medication adherence and had been much less probably to need corticosteroids, as a result avoiding possible side effects. Fewer had been switched to much more pricey biologic drugs, with a bigger proportion of individuals obtaining their medication levels decreased whilst nevertheless controlling their symptoms correctly.

INCA Lead Investigator Professor Richard Costello, described how the 32-week study showed that the INCA devices can assistance to differentiate amongst persons who have serious asthma and these who have hard-to-treat asthma, which is a single of the difficult distinctions that respiratory physicians generally require to make.


This suggests that the digital monitoring technologies can assistance physicians determine with much more self-assurance which individuals would advantage from a step up to biologic drugs, as opposed to continuing higher-dose inhaled corticosteroid therapy alone.


In this trial, which we think to be the initial of its type, we have brought a absolutely digital method to medication management and we think that this is a substantial step towards enhancing the outcomes and financial burden in individuals with serious and hard-to-manage symptoms.”


Richard Costello, Professor at RCSI Division of Medicine and Consultant Doctor at Beaumont Hospital


The INCA SUn (Inhaler Adherence in Extreme Unstable Asthma) study was carried out although the RCSI Clinical Analysis Centre (RCSI-CRC) and was funded by the Well being Analysis Board, Healthcare Analysis Council, INTEREG Europe and an investigator-initiated project grant from GlaxoSmithKline.

With the help of Enterprise Ireland, Professor Costello has designed an RCSI spin-out enterprise named Phyxiom, which is translating the learnings from INCA-SUn into an AI platform that aims to transform the clinical outcomes of individuals with uncontrolled asthma.


RCSI University of Medicine and Well being Sciences

Journal reference:

Hale, E. M., et al. (2023). Use of digital measurement of medication adherence and lung function to guide the management of uncontrolled asthma (INCA Sun): a multicentre, single-blinded, randomised clinical trial. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. doi.org/ten.1016/S2213-2600(22)00534-three.

By Editor

Leave a Reply