Despite the fact that at-home use of an inhaler or insulin pen can be hugely important, doctors need to pretty much just hope that patients do it right. A new system, however, could objectively evaluate patients’ technique inside their homes, and inform them if they have got it wrong.
Created by a team at MIT, the artificial intelligence-based technology has been adapted from a setup that has been formerly utilised to non-invasively monitor changes in sleeping places . It integrates a wall-mounted device that emits harmless low-power radio waves inside a 10-meter (33-ft) radius.
So long as the individual is located within this area, their body will reflect the waves back to the device. This means that each and every day when they use their pencil or inhaler, they need to visit that approximate site.
Every movement they make modulates the reflected radio waves in a particular manner, which can be detected and analyzed by software on the device. If those modulations do not match those that the software was trained to connect with the appropriate movements, then the system”knows” that the man or woman is not using the pencil or inhaler correctly. It can then notify their doctor, via an interface such as an app.
In tests conducted up to now, the system has managed to discover 96 percent of insulin pencil administrations and 99 percent of inhaler uses. It’s additionally identified problems like the pencil being held down for just five seconds rather than the prescribed 10.
And while an optical camera-based system could probably identify such issues visually, the MIT setup has the advantage of not recording any pictures of consumers, so there are no privacy issues.
A paper on the study, which is being directed by Prof. Dina Katabi, was recently published in the journal Nature Medicine.