Spirometry in primary care reduces burden on patients and healthcare systems
Making spirometry available in primary care has become a topic of interest in many major healthcare systems around the world. There are several reasons as to why pushing spirometry into the general practice is beneficial to both patients and the healthcare system. For patients, it means the opportunity for early diagnosis of chronic respiratory diseases, particularly if they are presenting with generalised respiratory symptoms. In COPD, for example, patients remain largely asymptomatic until irreversible loss of lung function has occurred. Detecting and treating chronic respiratory health patients at the primary care level also means avoiding acute exacerbations, unnecessary hospitalisations and reducing the burden on secondary healthcare systems at large.
Simplifying spirometry for patients and doctors
There are, however, specific challenges to the application of spirometry in the general practice setting. One key issue is the training of doctors and personnel in spirometry. Training will both ensure spirometry is performed and used correctly, and serves as a means of boosting general practitioner confidence in the use of spirometry as a diagnostic, screening and monitoring tool. For this reason spirometers need to have an intuitive user interface, real time feedback on performance, displays of test quality grading and other supplementary material to instruct correct test technique. Quick and accurate spirometry with real-time results obtained with low-maintenance spirometer means consultation times and device maintenance requirements do not burden the clinic and its personnel. Trend data and the display of flow-volume and volume-time curves further help the general practitioner draw insight from a patient’s spirometry test results and the potential influence of various factors on their lung health.
Important considerations for spirometry systems
Resource allocation to spirometers and spirometry in the general practice is another important factor that impacts its adoption. The size of the device, any special storage or operation conditions, storage required for ancillary products are all points to consider for the general practice. Unlike specialist pulmonary function laboratories, the space and resources dedicated to spirometers in the average general practice clinic are limited. Spirometers must therefore be small, portable and durable. Low-maintenance is also key to saving time and money in the clinic. This is where the true advantage of using an ultrasonic spirometer becomes evident.
The Spirohome Clinic ultrasonic spirometry platform
Spirohome spirometers are affordable, state-of-the-art, light-weight, portable, Bluetooth connected ultrasonic spirometers that fit in the palm of your hand. With the ability to easily track and manage patients with the Spirohome Clinic Dasboard, and to integrate patient data from both the Spirohome Personal (home-use) and Spirohome Clinic device over the Spirohome Web Dashboard, spirometry has never been more simpler or more widely connected.