Do Cystic Fibrosis Patients See Value in Monitoring Lung Function?
People affected by CF are in favor of using a personal spirometer. A personal spirometer provides an immediate assessment of the degree of obstruction and restriction of air flow in a person’s lungs. CF patients don’t want to wait 3 months between office visits and wonder how their daily treatment regimens are affecting their lung function.
The newer digitally enabled technology personal spirometers are small, easy to use and connect automatically to secure portals via Wi-Fi enabling patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals access to customized real-time data on any computer or smart phone. They also offer therapeutic notifications, symptom and medication recording and can help patients recognize declines in their lung function indicative of a pending exacerbation, yet the majority of CF patients do not own one.
A survey of 500 people affected by CF was conducted to assess the CF community’s interest in testing and tracking their lung function more frequently and at home.
The survey discovered an overwhelmingly positive response from patients in favor of utilizing personal spirometers. The majority of CF patients and their caregivers believe:
- There is benefit from tracking pulmonary function more closely
- Exacerbations could be recognized sooner
- Hospitalizations could be avoided
- Being more informed would enhance their relationship with their doctor
In addition to wanting to better manage their disease, there has been supportive scientific data finding that personal spirometry can:
- Result in fewer trips to the emergency room
- Earlier diagnosis of exacerbations supporting earlier interventions
- Improved patient engagement
- Better overall quality of care
Personal spirometry technology provides a more granular insight of the main issue of the disease, Lung function! In our quickly evolving, technology driven world that encompasses self-driving cars, brain implants, and helpful robotic assistants (I’m talking about you Siri and Alexa), we need to embrace available technology such as home spirometry and utilize it even more aggressively when it comes to life threatening chronic illnesses that affect not only adults but our children.