Studies have suggested that 50 to60 per cent of patients with chronic illnesses fail to adhere to their medications, costing the US health care system $170bn (€125bn) annually and reducing the effectiveness of treatment.
Consequently demand has risen for packaging and technologies that increase compliance, leading to Cambridge developing a wireless platform to transfer data from a drug delivery device to patients and healthcare providers.
The technology’s reference design is being made available to companies at a fixed price and Cambridge will provide design and development services if required.
David Blakey, head of drug delivery at Cambridge Consultants, said: “The idea behind the ‘connected patient’ is to enable seamless data transfer using wireless technologies, from patient monitoring or treatment devices to a patient’s healthcare network - a physician’s office or online medical support applications, for example - to encourage patients to follow their planned treatment regime.
“Using connected medical devices to close the loop between a patient and their healthcare provider can facilitate increased compliance, enable better therapy results, and may ultimately reduce long-term treatment costs.”
Cambridge has installed a chip into an inhaler to enable it to use the company’s Vena wireless healthcare device platform to connect to a personal computer or smart phone and communicate with an online personal healthcare application.
To ensure that data is transferred securely the device employs two emerging wireless standards, Bluetooth Health Device Profile and IEEE11073.
In addition to helping to improve monitoring and increase compliance Cambridge has suggested that the technology could have applications in gathering non-patient-specific data, which could be used by companies conducting Phase IV trials.
Cambridge is demonstrating its technology at Respiratory Drug Delivery Europe 2009 in Lisbon, Portugal, May 19-22.