Teva had an exciting start to 2018’s ERS congress. Hundreds of delegates visited our booth to experience the activities we had on offer, including our respiratory leaders Q&A sessions.

One of the topics discussed during the session was about the gaps that exist in current respiratory treatment, and our reliance on patients accurately self-reporting their symptoms and inhaler use. To progress and truly gain a complete picture of a patient’s disease management, healthcare professionals (HCPs) need objective data on how and when people use their inhalers, and Costello believes new inhaler technologies show promise in terms of providing this information. Accurate data on inhaler usage could inform conversations between patients and clinicians, and encourage a more collaborative approach to care.

But what impact will this have on HCPs’ duty of care? With constant access to patients’ data, would HCPs be liable if the information is not immediately acted upon? While there is no simple answer to this question, Costello argued that in the current clinical situation where a large proportion of patients are using their inhalers incorrectly, HCPs could already be seen as being liable for not addressing this. He disputed that an attempt to tackle the challenge of inhaler misuse surely deems HCPs less liable than if the issue is overlooked altogether.

While that question may still be up for debate, one thing Costello seemed certain of was that the future of respiratory care is personalisation. Emerging treatments and technologies can provide HCPs with the information they need to tailor therapy for each individual; taking into account their unique disease phenotype and behaviours to treat people on a case-by-case basis.