The air pollution crisis is estimated to cost about £3.7bn a year in London alone, and is bringing a number of new smart asthma inhaler brands incorporating AI in to their systems on to the market to combat the problems it causes.

Responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK by causing everything from cancer to asthma and dementia, air pollution has become a widespread threat over the past few decades.

The UK consists of the highest rates in Europe of childhood asthma caused by air pollution, according to a major global analysis conducted by King’s College London (KCL) and Imperial College London (ICL).

The World Health Organization says asthma rates in children have been increasing sharply since the 1950s. Approximately, 4.2 million premature deaths around the world are linked to air pollution, from heart disease, stroke and respiratory infections in children.

The research by KCL and ICL published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health is the first global assessment of the impact of traffic fumes on childhood asthma based on high-resolution pollution data.

The key pollutant, nitrogen dioxide, is produced largely by diesel vehicles.

It is estimated between 2014 and 2016, more than 4,000 Londoners were hospitalised because air pollution worsened their asthma, or in the elderly, serious lung conditions.

Due to the increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases and rise in air pollution, the smart inhalers market is estimated to reach $191m (£150m) by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 63.3% from 2016 to 2022, according to Premium Market Insights.


Five top AI-powered inhaler brands upgrading respiratory care:


top asthma inhaler brands
The Respiro system is a digital medicine offering that uses advanced smart inhalers, AI and software to measure and improve respiratory therapies (Credit: Amiko)

Designed to track and monitor its users, Amiko develops advanced sensor technologies and AI-powered digital health solutions that can assist healthcare professionals and empower patients to achieve better outcomes.

The Respiro system is to engage patients with their progression as it records usage of an inhaler every time it’s accessed, passing that information in real-time to the connected phone and onto its portal.

Patients, doctors and researchers can later access it to analyse the information and gain insights into how the regimen can be improved, with the system suggesting therapy based on the data.



top asthma inhaler brands
The Aria software is designed to help people with asthma make the right health choices when it comes to their lung health (Credit: NuvoAir)

Swedish health tech company NuvoAir, reminds users when to take their next dose and aims to make respiratory diseases measurable and treatable with its software called Aria, which sends personalised care suggestions depending on the patient’s condition.

It claims to be the first CE certified and clinically validated digital health assistant designed to support patients suffering from respiratory issues make the right decision regarding their lung health.

The AI-powered software collects the users’ symptoms and triggers to help them understand what affects their lung health, and accumulates content about how to maintain healthy lungs and latest trends in cystic fibrosis (a thick mucus that blocks of the pancreatic ducts resulting in respiratory infection).

The information is displayed on NuvoAir’s digital platform, where it can be read by the patient’s medical team.



top asthma inhaler brands
The Hailie solution helps patients with asthma access better care through a smartphone app (Credit: Hailie)

Granted the 510(k) over-the-counter clearance by the FDA, the Hailie solution tracks medication use and reminds users when to take their prescribed doses with audio-visual cues.

The Hailie app helps anybody suffering from chronic respiratory conditions to manage the condition better by enabling the data to be share with  a healthcare professional

The inhaler can also help clinicians pinpoint when and how someone is misusing an inhaler, such as if they are holding it upside down or inhaling at the wrong time.



top asthma inhaler brands
FindAir inhale aims to reduce the number of unexpected symptoms and find out what causes asthma attacks (Credit: FindAir)

The attachable smart sensor FindAir One collects the most important information about the history and circumstances from each use of the inhaler to help users and their doctor better understand what causes the attacks and how to avoid them.

It does this through wireless technology connected to the mobile app and web platform for doctors, providing crucial information related to asthma, including vital factors such as pollen level, air quality and weather conditions, all at the moment of an asthma attack.

FindAir claims to have launched Europe’s first commercially available smart inhaler earlier this year, but the technology is still not available on the NHS.

Asthma UK, a non profit research organisation has been pushing for testing and it’s now been recommended in the NHS Long-Term Plan.


Propeller Health

top asthma inhaler brands
Propeller provides small sensors that are easily attachable to inhalers (Credit: Propeller Health)

Named a “2017 Most Innovative Company,” Propeller Health helps people and their doctors better manage their COPD and asthma

A new study by the digital therapeutics company published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, has found that majority of people living with asthma may be using their inhalers incorrectly, which makes asthma treatments less effective and increases their risk of asthma attacks.

David Stempel, managing director at Propeller’s SVP of medical and clinical affairs said: “Doctors have known for years that many patients do not follow the recommended inhaler instructions.

“This is the first time we’ve had objective data from digital medicines to observe it outside of the clinic.

“Digital medicines have the potential to not only assess inhaler technique in real-time but also notify a patient when they’re not using the inhaler properly and provide education and sources for training, which goes beyond what a clinician can do for the patient day-to-day.”

The company’s digital medicine involves linking a small sensor to the patient’s existing inhaler, the sensor monitors medication usage and provides the patients with insights such as medication adherence reminders and tips for management of their condition.

Sabrine ElKhodr, a pharmacist and director of the medical communications agency Docfluencer said: “Good inhaler technique is crucial to controlling asthma so choosing the right inhaler for you is very important.

“If you have regular asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, especially after physical activity, or regular coughing at night, then see your doctor for a checkup and diagnosis.

“People with asthma are often more likely to be affected by allergies and things like hay-fever so it’s a good idea to get a checkup if you think you may be affected.

“Some people only discover that they have asthma after an asthma attack which can be fatal so affecting symptoms should not be ignored.

“A person diagnosed with asthma must get a checkup every six months or so to make sure that their asthma is controlled well by the medications they’re taking.”