Madison-based Propeller Health will begin distributing its digital health platform in Japan to patients using two Novartis inhaler medications to treat uncontrolled asthma — the first step in entering Japan’s market. 

“In Japan, our market entry is occurring in partnership with Novartis, so right now we’re only available in Japan for patients who use Enerzair or Atectura Breezhaler to manage their asthma,” said Propeller spokesperson Rachel Fields. 

Enerzair Breezhaler was approved in Japan on June 29 for the treatment of bronchial asthma.

The health platform helps manage the condition by attaching a sensor to the Enerzair or Atectura Breezhaler inhaler, which then delivers objective data on medication use to the Propeller app on the patient’s smartphone. 

The app also sends the patient reminders to take their prescribed dose and keeps a record of adherence data over time. Patients can share that data with their clinician to help inform the patient’s treatment plan.

“We are thrilled to bring the Propeller platform to Japan and introduce digital health for asthma to a large population of patients who can benefit from better management,” said David Van Sickle, co-founder and CEO of Propeller Health. “This collaboration is an important step in improving outcomes for people with chronic respiratory disease worldwide.”

Propeller’s platform works with 90 percent of inhalers on the U.S. market, according to Fields, and has partnerships with many other pharmaceutical companies, such as GSK, AstraZeneca, Orion and Boehringer Ingelheim to connect their medications to the Propeller platform. 

“If a patient in the U.S. uses an inhaled medication to manage their asthma or COPD, chances are we connect to it,” she said.

Japan marks the 17th country that Propeller serves.

-By Stephanie Hoff

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