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EIT Digital’s ACT4Y innovation activity has brought together Amiko, Santer Reply and the University of Twente to build a Digital Prescription Intervention Service to improve pharmaceutical asthma care while lowering healthcare costs. Preliminary evaluations of ACT4Y’s impact have shown significant improvements in medication adherence (+52%) and correct inhalation technique (+48%).

Brussels, 6 May 2019 - The international community is preparing to celebrate World Asthma Day, tomorrow. Asthma is a disease which affects over 300 million people worldwide, a number that is set to rise to 400 million by 2025. Each year, millions of hospitalizations and emergency department visits occur, driving costs over $50B in the US and €70B in Europe. And many, if not most, asthma-related exacerbations are preventable with proper treatment.

In fact, despite the widespread availability of effective treatments, most patients struggle to follow their treatment plans, to correctly administer their medications and to maintain habits that support their treatment, while physicians lack the tools and the information to deliver optimal care to their patients.

To assist healthcare professionals and help patients keep their asthma under control, Amiko, Reply and the University of Twente have partnered in the ACT4Y (Asthma Control For You) innovation activity, part of EIT Digital’s Digital Wellbeing focus area portfolio, to create the world’s first digital prescription intervention service, a digital upgrade to existing Medicines Use Reviews, which combines medication sensors, medication use data and analytics, specialized pulmonary pharmacist clinical support, patient engagement to improve patient care while lowering healthcare costs.

 “We've been proud members of EIT Digital since 2017. Over the years, we've collaborated closely with the Digital Wellbeing team to deliver breakthrough patient experiences. ACT4Y is the realisation of EIT Digital's ambition to accelerate the market uptake of high impact, evidence-based digital health technologies,” Amiko’s CCO and ACT4Y’s activity leader Martijn Grinovero said.

Patients are given devices that they can attach as add-ons to the inhalers they are already using, to track when the medication is used, along with a series of parameters that indicate inhaler technique and the quality of the inhalations.

Pharmacists are given a web application which receives data generated by the sensors and displays accurate and objective metrics for an improved understanding of inhaler use and misuse. Much like a personal diary, it keeps track of every inhalation and offers a clear overview of treatment compliance over time.

Pharmacists leverage this information to provide digital medication use reviews to their patients, to improve medication adherence, inhaler technique, asthma control and prevent unnecessary exacerbations of the disease, often leading to ER visits and costly hospitalizations.

Amiko, which acts as activity leader, has developed a leading digital therapeutic solution that optimises respiratory therapies using the world’s most advanced smart inhalers. Santer Reply, a market leader in telemedicine services, has integrated  Amiko’s solution into its commercial digital health portfolio.

With the support of the University of Twente, Amiko and Reply are validating the digital prescription intervention service in partnership with Unifarm, a leading pharmacy group.  Preliminary data from the study showed results in terms of improved adherence (+52%), improved inhalation technique (+48%) as well as improved Asthma Control Test scores (+40,94%), a clinically-valid measure used to assess asthma control in patients.

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