Throughout the course of the program and exhibition, the focus was on new technology, especially in the form of connected devices, with a number of presenters also referencing the possibility of a new MDI propellant in the not-too-distant future and others introducing novel analytical techniques. Presentations related to a recent FDA decision and to the changing regulatory landscape in Europe also drew a great deal of interest.
Surprisingly, in his plenary lecture titled, “Patient Focused Device Design: Addressing Inhaler Technique,” Federico Lavorini of the Department of Experimental and Respiratory Medicine at Careggi University Hospital in Florence, Italy never mentioned the use of connected devices to improve adherence. Suggesting that “If patient engagement were a drug, it would be the blockbuster of the century,” Dr. Lavorini focused more on matching the device to the patient’s needs and abilities and proper training in inhaler technique, emphasizing that, “education is fundamental.”
The omission was particularly noticeable given that an entire session the next day was devoted to the ability of connected devices to improve inhaler technique and adherence. Titled “Can Connected Devices Improve Respiratory Outcomes?” the session included speakers including Hilary Pinnock of the University of Edinburgh, Richard W Costello of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Garth Sutherland of Adherium, and Yu-Feng Y Chan of the Icahn School of Medicine discussing the use of technology to improve technique and adherence.