According to the American Lung Association, COPD (congestive obstructive pulmonary disease) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. It affects around 13 million patients. Add to this the fact that around 45,000 people have an asthma attack every day, and we can quickly see that the need for effective treatments is critical.
There are many ways to medically approach these conditions. But one of the most important advances in modern medical science is the development of inhalers, sometimes referred to as Metered Dose Inhalers (or MDI’s) and nebulizer therapies. A few examples of such inhalers include (in no particular order) Proair, Proventil HFA, Advair, Symbicort, Flovent HFA, Asmanex, Foradil and Qvar. Do you use one of these? As a pharmacist, I frequently dispense these inhalers. But one concern we all have in the management of COPD and asthma with inhalers is the proper TECHNIQUE that must be used by patients to get the full benefit of these important medication-delivery devices.
While it is possible to take a tablet “incorrectly” (wrong time, etc.) it is much more likely that patients will use an inhaler incorrectly. The consequences can be very serious, as patients see their condition continue to decline and might be tempted to think the medicine itself isn’t working. Sometimes it IS the medication that is wrong. But many times the problem patient’s experience is with the way they use the inhaler itself.
That’s where www.use-inhalers.com comes in. It is an informative and un-biased website that provides FREE inhaler training to patients in easy-to-follow videos. The website is not intended to replace the training provided by the doctor, nurse or pharmacist, but rather to reinforce this training in a way that is available whenever the patient wants it.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to talk to Mr. Fenil Shah about his work in developing this website for patients and professionals.
1) Mr. Shah, thank you for talking to my readers about use-inhalers.com. To begin with, could you tell my readers a little about yourself, where you live and what your career has looked like?
Being an entrepreneur is something that has come from following in to the footsteps of my father Mr C. V. Shah, an entrepreneur himself. After starting my career in software product development and business management, I have been fortunate to have built and grown two successful software automation companies. Also, living in Rhode Island, close to good universities and professionals has given an added advantage.
Throughout my career, I have been involved in using state of the art technology to solve problems and improve productivity of organizations and individuals. During the last 5 years or so, my passion has been to apply simulation and mobile technology to medical learning for both patients and professionals. I see tremendous potential to improve the quality of medical education, which is why you would see that my area of interest is mainly to raise the standards of patient care and reduce costs in our medical system.
2) What lead you to the idea of starting use-inhalers.com?
My father suffered from Allergic Asthma and was prescribed an inhaler, he read the instructions from the inhaler handout and also received some verbal instructions from his doctor, but when he started using the inhaler, he did not find any difference in his symptoms and use to take the inhalation multiple times, later we realized that he was not using the inhaler correctly as per the instructions.
I discussed this scenario with my friend Dr. Rakesh Gupta, Pulmonologist and to my surprise he shared the studies with me that proved that up to 70% of patients do not use their inhalers correctly. This was the first step to our plan of developing a training tool that can help such patients to improve their inhaler technique and treatment outcome.
3) Could you explain what types of training resources are available on the website?
1. Interactive audio-visual training tools
2. 15+ prescribed inhalers, other nebulizers, spacers etc.
3. Training provided in multiple languages
4. Practicing through real time technology with the help of webcam
5. Engaging animated quiz for better retention
6. Available on web, iPhone and iPad
7. Apps to manage the inhaler techniques
8. Professional CEU courses for Providers
4) So who exactly is “use-inhalers” for?
For respiratory patients using inhalers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and respiratory therapists.
5) How could pharmacists, nurses or physicians use this website?
They can take the online interactive CEU course, get credits, learn about this new advanced technology that can save their time and resource in training their patients on correct inhaler techniques.
6) Now, I notice that the description of the inhalers you feature do not include their trade names. Can you explain this? Were their trademark issues in developing this resource?
We do not want to be biased to any particular product by providing any trade names
7) Proper training for using inhalers correctly is important. Could you talk about what resources you used and any individuals you consulted with in the development of this website?
We referenced several clinical studies that proved the need of this education and importance of correct technique like AARC, IPCRG etc. We consulted a team of RTs, Physicians and nurses to provide their inputs and feedback on this matter.
8) How many of the currently available asthma or COPD inhalers do you have instructions for on your website?
We currently cover 20 inhalers being used worldwide, 2 nebulizers and 2 spacers.
9) What’s next for use-inhalers.com? Do you have any significant changes or updates coming to the website soon?
Actually, we have just finished a significant remodel of our website with some great new resources:
1. New Inhalers
2 12+ Languages
3. 5 mins free In- Depth Training
4. Quick – Demo on our Unique Practice Method – With device camera – http://use-inhalers.com/correct-inhaler-technique
10) How is the website supported?
This website is self funded by Mr. Fenil Shah
11) If any of my readers want to contact you about your website, is there an email they could use?
|Email Mr Fenil Shah|
|Email Ms Fiona Shetty|
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