FDA approves online platform to help manage respiratory disease

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Mobile phone apps are no longer just for fans of Angry Birds or Candy Crush Saga. Smartphone technology could provide a real breakthrough in the management of multiple diseases, and one of these is the innovative Propeller Platform.


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In December 2015, US based Propeller Health, in partnership with London-based GlaxoSmithKline, entered a research agreement to develop a mobile phone app that has particular benefits for sufferers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma. This link up has led to the creation of the Propeller mobile platform for use with GSK’s Ellipta dry powder inhaler (DPI). In November 2016, the app finally received its US Food and Drug Administration 510k clearance to begin marketing the Propeller Platform – http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DigitalHealth/MobileMedicalApplications/ucm368744.htm.

Propeller’s CEO, David Van Sickle, hailed the link up and the new platform for its ability to significantly improve the management of respiratory diseases for sufferers.

What is the Propeller Platform?

The Propeller Platform fixes easily onto the Ellipta DPI that is used primarily by asthma and COPD sufferers. It then sends usage data to the patient’s smartphone and monitors the triggers for attacks. This helps the patient understand their condition, and to manage it much more effectively. According to Propeller Health, the app can lead to up to 79% fewer asthma attacks, 50% more doses taken on schedule, and up to 50% more symptom-free days. This could be a real breakthrough for asthma and COPD sufferers.

FDA approval

How long does it take to get a FDA 510k approved? Getting FDA 510k clearance can be a long and arduous process for medical device manufacturers. Companies must give the FDA a minimum of 90 days advanced notice of their plans to market any medical device. This is known as the pre-market notification, or 510k. This allows the FDA to assess the device or app compared to others in the marketplace. The process is complex but there are specialist companies that can help with the approval – http://www.fdathirdpartyreview.com/.

Mobile medical apps are growing in popularity, and the effectiveness of platforms like Propeller can, it seems, provide genuine benefits for patients. As smartphone technology improves, this could be a real breakthrough in the management of multiple diseases, giving the user ownership of condition management, and significantly improve the quality of sufferers’ lives.

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