Objective: The SmartTrack (ST) is a new adherence monitoring device for pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDI), with remote upload and ringtone reminder capabilities. Our aim was to assess its reliability and patient acceptability.
Methods: Baseline Quality Control (QC): Actuation log accuracy and device functionality tests were undertaken. Simulated Patient Use: Salmeterol/fluticasone inhalers with STs were actuated two times twice daily for 48 h. Accuracy of reminders, data logging, and uploads was tested. Patient Field Testing: Devices were quality tested before dispensing. Asthma patients each field-tested one ST for 7 days and recorded actuations in a diary. Uploaded data were compared to pMDI dose counter and patient diaries. Patient-reported ease of use for the ST was recorded.
Results: Baseline QC: 9/10 devices had 100% accuracy; one had an electrical circuit failure. Simulated Patient Use: Accuracy was 99% (2/342 actuations duplicated). Patient Field Testing: One device failed pre-dispensing testing (electrical circuit failure). Eight devices were field-tested by asthma patients (mean age 45, 5 females). Mean actuation log accuracy was 97%. Reminders were 100% accurate. All devices successfully uploaded data. Average patient-rated difficulty of use was 6/100 (1 = extremely easy, 100 = extremely difficult).
Conclusions: The ST has acceptable reliability and utility comparable to other electronic monitoring devices. Its remote data upload capability, reminder functions for missed doses, and graphical display of medication use for patient- and physician-feedback are useful additional features.