An inhaler can potentially save the life of a young child who suffers from asthma or a respiratory infection that causes wheezing symptoms. But parents and their young ones face challenges when it comes to using an inhaler with a spacer correctly. Rafi-Tone, an innovative new app developed by Clin-e-cal, uses gamification techniques to make the process fun while promoting effective delivery of respiratory medication.

A spacer, designed to make inhalation easier for younger patients, connects the inhaler to a mask with a plastic tube. This mask must form a tight seal over the mouth and nose for adequate delivery of the medication. However, both parents and children frequently experience stress and anxiety when attempting to use an inhaler with a spacer. This distress often results in ineffective delivery and missed doses.

First conceived by a clinician to help his son Rafi enjoy using his inhaler, Rafi-Tone features a character called Rafi Robot. The robot teaches the child to use the inhaler properly through interactive games and cartoons. The app works with a positive whistle mask; when the child breathes correctly, the mask emits a whistling sound that activates Rafi Robot. The process engages and entertains the child while assisting parents in monitoring for effective usage.

Large comparative studies, conducted by researchers at Manchester University in the UK, found that the app reduced reports of distress in children who used an inhaler with a spacer by 29%. Parent confidence in medication delivery increased by 47% when using Rafi-Tone. A team of independent nurse specialists who took part in the study gave the app a strong endorsement.

Because patients with asthma have an increased risk of complications from COVID-19, and severe respiratory illness can be fatal, proper inhaler use is critical for optimal lung function. Rafi-Tone gives parents peace of mind by preventing struggles and reducing symptoms of asthma and respiratory illnesses.