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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014;2014:4611-4. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2014.6944651.

An acoustic method to automatically detect pressurized metered dose inhaler actuations.


Chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affect over 400 million people and are incurable. The pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) has been the most popular inhaler device in inhaled therapy in recent times. However the pMDIs require good coordination between inhaling and actuating the inhaler to deliver the aerosolized drug most effectively. Poor coordination can greatly reduce the amount of drug delivered to a patient and therefore reducing the control of respiratory disease symptoms. Acoustic methods have been recently employed to monitor inhaler technique quite effectively. This study employs a noninvasive acoustic method to detect actuation sounds in a portable monitoring device. A total of 158 actuation sounds were obtained from a group of healthy subjects (n=5) and subjects suffering from respiratory diseases (n=15). The developed algorithm generated an overall accuracy of 99.7% demonstrating that this method may have clinical potential to monitor pMDI actuation coordination. The informative feedback from this method may also be employed in clinical training to highlight patient actuation technique.

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