Validation of the Doser, a new device for monitoring metered-dose inhaler use

Michael S. Simmons, Mitchell A. Nides, Eric C. Kleerup, Kenneth R. Chapman, Henry Milgrom, Cynthia S. Rand, Sheldon L. Spector, Donald P. Tashkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Electronic monitoring of medication use has proved valuable in both clinical and research settings. The Doser, a new and inexpensive commercially available device for monitoring metered-dose inhaler (MDI) use, displays 3 measures of daily use of an attached MDI: (1) the daily total of actuations, (2) the number of doses remaining in the MDI, and (3) the number of actuations on each of the preceding 30 days for later recall. Objective: We sought to validate the accuracy of the Doser with several commonly prescribed MDIs. Methods: In the laboratory, clinic personnel actuated an MDI with an attached Doser several times in succession on 3 consecutive days and recorded each of the 3 measures of MDI use (study 1). In study 2 clinic personnel carried an MDI and attached Doser with them for 4 weeks, actuating the MDI according to a prescribed protocol each morning and evening and again recording each of the 3 measures of daily use. In addition, during 2 weeks of study 2, a thermistor-based Nebulizer Chronolog was attached to the MDI to electronically record the date and time of each actuation. In study 3 clinic patients had both a Doser and Nebulizer Chronolog attached to their routinely used inhalers for 2 weeks and a Doser alone during a separate 2-week period. Results: In study 1 agreement was 99% to 100% among the 3 Doser measures, and each measure agreed with actual use by self-report 97% of the time. In study 2 agreement among the 3 Doser measures of use ranged from 98% to 99%. Agreement between each of the 3 Doser measures and the Nebulizer Chronolog ranged from 90% to 93%. Agreement between each of the 3 Doser measures and actual use ranged from 96% to 97%, and the Nebulizer Chronolog agreed with actual use 93% of the time. In study 3 Doser and Nebulizer Chronolog agreement with patient self-report were 85% and 80%, respectively. Agreement between the Doser and Nebulizer Chronolog was 76%. Several failures of the thermistor-based Nebulizer Chronolog occurred, and occasional mechanical problems occurred with the Doser, primarily on particular types of MDI canisters. Conclusion: The Doser provides an accurate measure of MDI use with most commonly prescribed medications and may be useful for monitoring MDI use by investigators, clinicians, and patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Electronic medication monitoring
  • Metered-dose inhaler
  • Patient compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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