Monitoring devices attached to pressurised metered dose inhalers provide an important objective measurement of patient adherence with asthma medications in clinical and research settings. The Smart-inhaler is a relatively new device that has not been previously validated. This study examines the accuracy of the Smart-inhaler in a bench-top experiment and compares it with a previously validated device, the Doser. Ten Smart-inhalers and five Dosers were actuated twice on two occasions per day for 30 days (120 doses). Six Smart-inhalers were also actuated 30 times in rapid succession to examine the ability of the Smart-inhaler to detect "dumping". Five Smart-inhalers failed to detect the first one or two doses. However, when the aerosol canister was placed more firmly in the device, actuating the device in the process, the following two doses were recorded accurately in all ten devices. Otherwise all ten Smart-inhalers and five Dosers recorded all actuations faithfully and there were no spurious recordings. The six Smart-inhalers recorded all 30 doses delivered in rapid succession. The Smart-inhaler and Doser are both highly accurate at measuring actuated doses and no spurious doses were recorded in an in vitro setting. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.