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Yet, the robust demonstration of almost any substantive benefit (beyond perhaps transient delight and toxic self- absorption) has been slow in coming. The challenges of moving a health-related technology from promise to impact are illustrated nicely by two recent attempts to carefully evaluate the benefits of intriguing new devices.
The first is a study by Propeller Health at Dignity Health (Woodland Clinic/Dr. Rajan Merchant) and sponsored by the California Healthcare Foundation, which sought to examine whether use of an inhaler monitoring device made by Asthmapolis (now Propeller Health) resulted in improved asthma control, the study’s primary endpoint. The device senses inhaler use – in this study, the use of fast-acting “rescue” inhaler medications, specifically — and communicates data to patients (via an app) and to providers (via reports and change of status alerts), according to MedPage Today.
In this study, asthmatic patients who had experienced a “healthcare utilization event” in the preceding year were randomized into either an active group , receiving the device and associated data, or a group receiving a deactivated device that provided no supplemental information.
Read the article.