In patients with asthma, the use of inhaler electronic medication monitors (EMMs) with both rescue and controller inhalers is associated with higher adherence to these devices. Researchers studied whether medication adherence was higher among patients with asthma who used EMMs for both controller and rescue inhalers vs only for controller inhalers. Results were presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Virtual Annual Meeting, held February 26 to March 1, 2021.

Researchers evaluated the use of a digital asthma platform in which patients enrolled between 2017 and 2019. The platform included EMMs, along with a mobile application (app) that tracked inhaler use, to provide insights into controller use, asthma education, and medication reminders. When the app was used alongside rescue inhaler EMMs, it included additional features for fostering engagement, including personalized trigger identification and short-acting beta-agonist trends.

Patients who enrolled in the digital asthma platform were 12 years of age or older. All participants needed to complete an Asthma Control Test (ACT) at study enrollment. The analyses included the initial 90 days of EMM utilization.

A total of 5105 patients were enrolled. The mean participant age was 39 years. Overall, most (57%) had an ACT score of 15 or less; the remainder were almost evenly divided, with 22% and 21% of participants having ACT scores of 15 or less, 16 to 19, or 20 or more, respectively.  

The use of both controller and rescue EMMs, compared with the use of controller EMMs alone, was associated with a 4.7% higher absolute percentage of medication adherence (95% CI, 2.6-6.9; P <.01). The improvements were greatest among those participants with ACT scores of 15 or less (absolute percentage of adherence, 5.9%; 95% CI, 3.0-8.9; P <.01). In contrast, the improvements were lower and nonsignificant in those participants with ACT scores of 16 to 19 (absolute percentage of adherence, 3.4%; 95% CI, -1.3 to 8.1; P =.15) and those with ACT scores of 20 or more (absolute percentage of adherence, 3.3%; 95% CI, -1.1 to 7.6; P =.13).

The investigators concluded that the results of this study suggest that a more comprehensive digital experience of inhaler use among patients with asthma may help to improve rates of medication adherence.

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Gondalia R, Anderson W, Kaye L, et al. Medication adherence was greater in a digital asthma platform consisting of controller and rescue vs. controller inhalers alone. Presented at: the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Virtual Annual Meeting; February 26-March 1, 2021. Abstract 154. 

A 48-year-old black female presents with a nodular lesion on the nose. In addition to the skin findings, she has dyspnea.

A chest radiograph shows bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy, and a skin biopsy shows non-caseating granulomas. Special stains for fungus and acid-fast bacteria are negative.

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor