FDA Approves First Inhaler with Built-in Sensors

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries integrated digital rescue inhaler connects to a smartphone app.

One of the challenges with treating patients with asthma and COPD is tracking their inhaler usage. Of the 25 million people in the United States with asthma, many are prescribed inhalers as part of their ongoing treatment programs, and many do not use them correctly, according to the Allergy & Asthma Network. Doctors have no easy way to determine whether their patients are using their inhalers as intended.

They will soon, however. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new digital rescue inhaler from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries that has built-in sensors. 

The ProAir Digihaler sends data gathered with these sensors on inhaler usage and respiratory flow to a smartphone app. Doctors can use the information to discuss the issues their patients are having with more context and suggest changes they can make to better manage their asthma. 

The inhaler contains albuterol sulfate and is approved for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in patients aged 4 and older with reversible obstructive airway disease and for the prevention of exercise-induced bronchospasm. Teva plans to initially make the inhaler available through limited “early experience” programs in partnership with healthcare systems, with the product launching nationally in 2020.


Emilie Branch

Emilie is responsible for strategic content development based on scientific areas of specialty for Nice Insight research articles and for assisting client content development across a range of industry channels. Prior to joining Nice Insight, Emilie worked at a strategy-based consulting firm focused on consumer ethnographic research. She also has experience as a contributing editor, and has worked as a freelance writer for a host of news and trends-related publications