An independent, randomized controlled trial of Adherium’s Smartinhaler found a significant reduction in hospital admissions over the course of 12 months as well as substantial other health and quality of life benefits for children with poorly controlled asthma, according to a company press release.

The year-long STAAR study was carried out at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in the UK, led by the University of Sheffield’s Dr Robert Morton and colleagues.  The aim of the study was to assess whether introducing digital adherence monitoring into routine practice could improve clinical outcomes in children with poorly controlled asthma.

As part of the STARR trial, researchers compared 38 children in an intervention group using Smartinhaler adherence monitoring with medication reminders and feedback in the clinic to 39 children receiving usual care. Drug use data were collected and children’s health outcomes were assessed at each three-month follow-up.

Adherence to prescribed medication averaged 70% in the intervention group, compared to 49% in the control group. The use of the Smartinhaler significantly increased medication adherence and this was maintained over the 12-month period. Nearly half of the children in the Smartinhaler intervention group maintained average adherence rates of >80% over the 12 months.

Through the course of the study, the clinical benefits observed within the intervention group increased compared to the usual care group, particularly at nine and 12 months; with the intervention group requiring fewer courses of oral steroids, hospital admissions, days off school and GP/emergency department visits.

“This study provides good evidence that adherence monitoring with feedback can significantly improve clinical outcomes when used in the management of children with poorly controlled asthma,” said Dr Robert Morton, lead investigator at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. “The benefits of the intervention were sustained over a prolonged period of time, and we have shown that this approach can be effectively administered in a clinically practical way. We would recommend this approach to be integrated into the standard care of children with poorly controlled asthma.”