Advancing Digital Solutions to Overcome Longstanding Barriers in Asthma and COPD Management

Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich*, Nawar Diar Bakerly, Henry Chrystyn, Mark Hew, Job van der Palen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Maintenance therapy delivered via inhaler is central to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management. Poor adherence to inhaled medication and errors in inhalation technique have long represented major barriers to the optimal management of these chronic conditions. Technological innovations may provide a means of overcoming these barriers. This narrative review examines ongoing advances in digital technologies relevant to asthma and COPD with the potential to inform clinical decision-making and improve patient care. Digital inhaler devices linked to mobile apps can help bring about changes in patients’ behaviors and attitudes towards disease management, particularly when they build in elements of interactivity and gamification. They can also support ongoing technique education, empowering patients and helping providers maximize the value of consultations and develop effective action plans informed by insights into the patient’s inhaler use patterns and their respiratory health. When combined with innovative techniques such as machine learning, digital devices have the potential to predict exacerbations and prompt pre- emptive intervention. Finally, digital devices may support an advanced precision medicine approach to respiratory disease management and help support shared decision-making. Further work is needed to increase uptake of digital devices and integrate their use into care pathways before their full potential in personalized asthma and COPD management can be realized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2023


  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • data
  • device
  • technology


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