Bluetooth LE device ensures asthma patients correctly use metered dose inhalers 


Aptar Pharma’s Connected Device for MDIs uses Nordic nRF52810 SoC to send medication adherence data to app via Bluetooth LE

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Aptar Pharma, a leading provider of drug delivery solutions, has selected Nordic’s nRF52810 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘Connected Device for Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs)’. The smart solution is designed for use in conjunction with pressurized MDIs to effectively treat asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).  

The Connected Device for MDIs platform enables an asthma patient and their healthcare provider to monitor adherence to medication, compliance, training, coordination improvement, and flow sensing. This ensures the patient correctly uses their metered dose inhaler and provides valuable insights for the patient, Healthcare Professional (HCP) and caregiver.  

Wireless control for patients and HCPs 

Aptar Pharma’s Connected Device for MDIs attaches to the top of an MDI asthma canister. Using the Bluetooth LE connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC, all the data generated on the device can be wirelessly transmitted to the patient’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone. The mobile-hosted iOS and Android compatible ‘BreatheSmart® app, powered by Cohero Health (a wholly owned entity of Aptar Pharma), can be used to monitor information on how successfully medication has been administered. For example, the patient can see the date and time stamp of when the medication was taken, whether they shook the MDI as required, and whether they inhaled and depressed the canister at a time when the drug has the best chance of good deposition into the lungs. A Cloud-connected health platform also enables HCPs to review the data to connect with patients and help track their respiratory care.

We selected Nordic’s nRF52810 SoC for Aptar Pharma’s Connected Device for MDIs due to the chip’s power consumption and generous memory allocation
Jerome Praquin

Smart Inhaler add-ons for MDIs use a standard coin cell battery to achieve a battery life of approximately 12 months before replacement, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52810 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 4.6mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.  

Nordic’s nRF52810 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor, with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring reduced radio energy consumption, with 192kB Flash memory and 24kB RAM. The nRF52810 SoC is supplied with the latest version of Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice, Bluetooth 5-compliant RF protocol software. Nordic’s unique software architecture includes a clear separation between the RF protocol software and Aptar Pharma’s application code, simplifying development and ensuring the SoftDevice doesn’t get corrupted when developing, compiling, testing, and verifying the application code.  

Low power consumption and generous memory 

“We selected Nordic’s nRF52810 SoC for Aptar Pharma’s Connected Device for MDIs due to the chip’s power consumption and generous memory allocation, but also because Nordic is a reliable industry partner,” says Jerome Praquin, Director Industrialisation, Global Digital Healthcare Systems, Aptar Pharma.  

“The separation of Nordic’s SoftDevice and application code, along with Nordic’s supporting documentation, Software Development Kit [SDK] and Nordic DevZone customer support portal significantly eased development.”  

“We are thrilled Aptar Pharma has chosen Nordic Semiconductor as a key supplier for its connected drug delivery platform,” says Thomas Søderholm, Director Business Development, Nordic Semiconductor. “Healthcare is something that is near and dear to us, and as a leader in the connectivity space, we strive to help connect the patients of tomorrow.”