'FitBit of asthma' could save thousands of lives every year
Asthma kills three people in the UK every day, but a Manchester-based entrepreneur believes his device could save thousands of lives.
CEO of Aerobit Ali Moiyed has battled the condition most of his life and decided to do something as his seven-year-old daughter Ruqaiyya is also a sufferer.
Asthma kills 250,000 worldwide every year, but the 40-year-old says 75 per cent of these deaths are avoidable.
The problem, he believes, isn’t with the treatment but making sure patients take their medication – which is the idea for Aerobit.
The device is an elasticated, one-size-fits-all jacket that transforms inhalers into smart devices, similar to Fitbit.
Measuring just 3.2cm, it connects them to a mobile app and reminds patients to take their medication, keeping track of the doses.
Explaining the idea the Stockport-based inventor said: “When my daughter Ruqaiyya suffered an asthma attack my wife and I realised that we didn’t know 100 per cent whether she’d taken her medication, the dose she’d taken or the precise time she’d had it.
“We were worried if we gave it again she could overdose.
“As responsible parents we felt guilty but when we did our research we found that most parents had a similar experience.
“People live busy lives and you can’t watch your children 24/7, especially when they’re at school.
“The vital thing for patients like Ruqaiyya is that they take right dosage of medication at the right time.
“That’s where the Aerobit device comes in.
“The smart bit is the Aerobit device uses patented sensor-based technology to detect when you’ve taken your meds and sends a signal to the mobile app.
“The important bit is it doesn’t rely on the patient to feed in information so it’s ideal for elderly or very young asthmatics who might forget to take their medication on time.”
Moiyed has submitted a patent application for the technology and has a track record of setting up companies.
He previously founded Manchester-based fintech business AccessPay, growing it from two people to 160 and raising millions of dollars in the process from investors.
The Aerobit device is set to be launched early this year and has attracted interest from the pharmaceutical industry, inhaler manufacturers, hospitals and health insurance companies. It could be sold per unit or rented out.
Moiyed is also looking at ways of making it fun for children to use the device so it’s seen as a toy rather than a medical product.
He added: “Three people die every day because of asthma in the UK and given the fact that both my daughter and I have the condition the incentive to make Aerobit a success couldn’t be greater.”