Innovative tech

QIoT raises funds to develop smart asthma inhaler

Frank Quinn: ’empowering physicians’

Medical devices specialist QIoT has been awarded almost £50,000 by the UK’s Innovation Agency, Innovate UK, to develop an inhaler that tells clinicians remotely whether patients with respiratory conditions are getting the medication they need.

During the current Covid-19 pandemic, when restrictions have reduced non-emergency patient contact, smart-inhalers are more important than ever for GPs to identify possible difficulties arising from over or under-use.

This technology offers an internet of things solution for the first time. 

Frank Quinn, CEO of Paisley-based QIoT, says, “At present physicians have no way of knowing whether asthma/COPD medication via inhalers is being taken in the prescribed dosages.

“Our project will empower physicians to proactively respond to patients who over or under use their medications. We aim to trial this with NHS Scotland.  In time it will set new standards in the dispensing and consumption of asthma/COPD medication during and post Covid-19”.

According to Asthma UK, three fifths of people with asthma in the UK are not receiving the most basic level of care and two thirds of all asthma deaths are preventable if only medication were taken as and when prescribed.

They report that emergency care also varies across geographical and age demographics, with older patients, who are most threatened by the Covid19 pandemic, being the least likely to seek and obtain medical help when experiencing breathing difficulties.

QioT hopes to have the smart inhaler and AI platform operational by October this year and, if adopted across the NHS in Scotland alone, predicts that demand could ultimately be worth up to £24m to the firm.


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