This device is patent pending as of June 2, 2016.
As part of the CBIT-CORE Healthcare Hackathon at Yale, I worked with a team of doctors, students, and entrepreneurs to develop an improved inhaler actuator. Our design won the grand prize for patient experience, and we are continuing to pursue the idea.
We chose a simple, mechanical solution to three pain points in inhaler use:
- taking a slow, deep breath
- coordinating dispensation of the medicine and inhalation
- holding breath for 10 seconds after taking the medicine
Our solution uses a simple flow rate meter to show the user their rate of inhalation and give feedback so they can learn to take the proper slow breath. We also include a timer for holding your breath after dispensing the medicine, and a telescoping spacer on the mouthpiece to lessen the need to exactly coordinate actions.
We worked on low fidelity prototypes using craft materials and an incentive spirometer. I also created a cosmetic model to demonstrate what the final product would look like:
We were motivated by the high rate of asthma and a large rate of inhaler misuse (68% of patients could not properly use their inhaler). Our innovation proposes to increase user confidence and decrease readmission, allowing for better health outcomes.