Boehringer partners with Qualcomm on connected inhaler


Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Life have partnered on the Respimat inhaler, the platform device in the Boehringer lineup of respiratory therapies which is aimed at improving COPD treatment outcomes.

Qualcomm is using its 2net Design platform--which is used to build communications components for medical devices--to develop a prototype of a module for the Respimat inhaler that is small, wireless, low-power and disposable. The inhaler is designed to connect up with the Qualcomm Life 2net Platform, and with it patients can track puffs from the Respimat inhaler. That information can be shared with healthcare providers and anyone prescribed a Respimat medicine.

The aim is to increase adherence to daily COPD treatment regimens, the announcement explained, noting that many with COPD can have poor adherence to treatment plans. This issue can result in increased COPD symptoms, healthcare costs, hospitalizations and possibly death.

"For more than 40 years, Boehringer Ingelheim has had an unwavering commitment to the COPD community to provide new health solutions that can help improve patient outcomes and expand our understanding of COPD," said Ruchin Kansal, executive director and head of business innovation at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, in the announcement. "Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to join forces with Qualcomm Life, a global leader in wireless technologies, to bring the latest technology to our RESPIMAT inhaler with the goal of improving adherence to daily medicines that treat symptoms of COPD."

"Qualcomm Life is committed to powering the Internet of Medical Things to ultimately enable intelligent care to be delivered wherever the patient may be," said Rick Valencia, president of Qualcomm Life, in the announcement. "We are excited to be collaborating with an industry leader like Boehringer Ingelheim to deliver a more seamless digital health experience that can enable their COPD patients to better manage their disease."

This is one of two major announcements made by Qualcomm today. The communications leader has also partnered with Philips on personalized connected healthcare.