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Audiovisual Reminder Helps Asthmatics Adhere to Meds

Smartinhaler increases adherence to inhaled corticosteroid therapy by up to threefold

FRIDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- An audiovisual reminder function incorporated into a standard metered-dose inhaler helps asthma patients adhere to their inhaled corticosteroid therapy, according to study findings published in the April issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Richard Beasley, D.Sc., from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand in Wellington, and colleagues randomized 110 adult or adolescent asthma patients to 24 weeks of fluticasone at one metered-dose daily with or without a Smartinhaler audiovisual reminder device to determine if it could improve adherence to therapy. The Smartinhaler contains both the drug canister and an audio alarm and visual readout of the date and time of the last dose.

The investigators found that the group with the reminder function took 93 percent of their medication in a 12-week period compared to 74 percent for the control group. The number of subjects taking 90 percent of their medication or more was 3.25 times higher in the reminder group than in the control group.

"An audiovisual reminder function has potential to improve adherence with medication regimens across a wide spectrum of diseases, in both research and clinical practice," the authors write.

The study was supported by a research grant from GlaxoSmithKline, U.K.

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