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The latest pharmaceutical packaging and devices are supporting the growing trend towards eHealth, according to leading global supplier Berry Healthcare.
eHealth seeks to promote and facilitate health and wellbeing in people, and enhance carer practice, through the use of information management and information and communication technology (ICT).
Berry Healthcare says that eHealth can encourage the shift towards personalised and precision medicine, which allows targeted, individualised care to be tailored to individual patients, based on their specific genetic profile and medical history.
eHealth is also an important part of the move towards telemedicine and remote diagnostics, a trend that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis. According to the US Centre for Disease control, doctors meeting patients via videoconferencing and real-time chat technologies increased by 154% in the early stages of the pandemic.
“eHealth can bring many benefits for patients, with technology allowing diagnosis to be carried out remotely, and the care and treatment to be integrated into their daily lives,” explains Marco Franza, Berry Healthcare’s Sales and Business Development Director – Global Inhalation and Medical Devices. “At the same time, carers can easily share relevant information and data can be analysed as part of disease management or a clinical trial. Ultimately, this can improve patient engagement and encourage positive behaviour.”
As well as greatly improving the patient experience and quality of life, eHealth can also bring major cost benefits through helping to reduce the amount of medicine wasted unnecessarily. For example, a recent study on patient medication adherence found that adherence to asthma and COP treatments was as low as 32%, meaning two out of three people were incorrectly taking their medicine.
Berry Healthcare has recently launched its RS01X™ single dose Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI) with built-in sensors and digital capabilities that tracks inhaler use and connects to the companion Respiro™ app from Amiko Digital Health, which provides personalised guidance to improve adherence and inhaler technique.
The app acts as companion to the inhaler, reminding patients when it is time inhale a dose and providing personalised insights and tips to help them self-manage more effectively. In previous clinical studies, the Respiro platform delivered improvements in controller medication adherence by up to 37% and in optimal inhaler technique by up to 42%.
The RS01X is a first of many inhalers from Berry Healthcare which will have digital capabilities incorporated. In addition, the company is currently working on a number of new digital product developments, including pill dispensers that can adjust treatment and dosage based on data provided, and systems for tracking medicines to ensure their safe distribution, storage at the correct temperature and delivery to the right patient.
“Our work on the digitalisation of packaging, medical devices and healthcare products is focused on our emphasis on the patient as a person,” says Marco Franza. “The patient-centric solutions we are developing will support data-based treatment decisions and help patients maintain medicine adherence, which will ultimately lead to a better healthcare experience.”