HealthFactors, KBT team up to create smart inhaler offering for pharma

By Jonah Comstock
04:31 pm

Two Minneapolis-based companies – digital health care management program maker HealthFactors and medical-focused R&D firm Koronis BioMedical Technologies (KBT) – are working together to create new smart inhaler products for some undisclosed pharmaceutical partners, the company announced earlier this week.

“Connected health technology, including smart inhalers, has the ability to improve clinical outcomes, increase patient engagement, and lower the total cost of care by capturing real-time data about medication use by patients and seamlessly and securely sharing that data with health care providers,” Dan Spors, chief commercial officer, HealthFactors. “Our collaboration with KBT blends decades of expertise in technology, engineering, research, health care delivery and pharmaceuticals to deliver patient-centered solutions.”

The collaboration, which began in 2015, builds on KBT's experience in the respiratory space and HealthFactors' experience commercializing connected technologies, the company told MobiHealthNews in an email. In that same email, from Spors and Patrick Lichter, co-founder, president and chief technology officer of KBT, the companies explained how they plan to go beyond what's currently on offer in the smart inhaler market. 

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"We’re working on developing a clinical scale that can be used to go beyond adherence monitoring to therapeutic and diagnostic elements," the two execs wrote. "We believe we have more depth and experience with studies that demonstrate clinical impact of technique. Correct inhalation technique is critical for the successful use of inhaled medications. This new smart inhaler technology is envisioned to be part of an overall commercial platform whereby patients are first assessed and interactively trained on proper technique in a clinical setting for a prescribed inhaler. The patient continues to receive this technique feedback and reinforcement at home through the smart inhaler."

The company is targeting a 2018 time frame to complete the research and launch the platform, and is continuing to solicit pharma partners in the meantime. They anticipate pharma companies will use the technology to differentiate their respiratory products in the marketplace, and also see value in the product for clinical researchers.

“Breakthrough treatments for complex medical conditions are being driven by a marriage of leading-edge electronic and software technology and advanced algorithms that deliver information from devices to patients, health care providers, families and caregivers,” Lichter said in a statement. “This type of digital solution surrounds the patient and creates a truly connected experience that factors in all aspects of their lives and health care journey.”


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