Many researchers recognize that moving spirometry out of the clinic creates new opportunities to collect data in settings reflective of patients’ day-to-day activities and improve the patient experience. Mobile spirometry performed at home can be a viable alternative to procedures done in the doctor’s office, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and representatives from the American Thoracic Society (ATS) agree.

A task force of the American Thoracic Society has released extensive guidelines regarding the resumption of pulmonary medicine services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ATS, in collaboration with the Association of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Division Directors (APCCSDD), has recently released comprehensive guidelines for resuming pulmonary medicine services as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The new guidelines are designed to support institutions in creating unique operating procedures that should be regularly reviewed and modified as the prevalence of SAR-Cov-2 in communities fluctuates. ATS and APCCSDD recommend approaches to delivering specific pulmonary services and consider at-home spirometry “a reasonable option” for patients requiring regular pulmonary function testing.

“For patients who need ongoing surveillance of pulmonary function, home spirometry is a reasonable option with enhanced coaching and education by video and telemedicine.”

The guidelines advise clinicians to be aware of the quality and reliability of results from home spirometry testing — a concern historically raised about remote spirometry. Several recent studies, including a mobile spirometry pilot study conducted by researchers from Koneksa, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and the University of Manchester, addressed this concern. The results published in Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Journal demonstrated that remotely collected spirometry data is comparable to clinic spirometry; the correlation between mobile and clinic measures was high, the limits of agreement were tight, and the test-retest reliability for both types of measurements was excellent. The study also addressed another concern around mobile spirometry  — whether patients would contribute the data while unsupervised. The patient compliance was high (85%) for once-a-day data contribution.

Home spirometry directly benefits both doctors and patients. Frequent data collection allows physicians to track disease fluctuation over time and obtain more informed insights into patient conditions. Remote data collection provides an opportunity for active patient engagement along with added convenience and safety during the pandemic.

Learn more about Koneksa’s digital biomarker platform and solutions for home spirometry in our recent whitepaper. Beyond the Clinic: Remote Spirometry Data Collection in Respiratory Diseases discusses the evolution of mobile spirometry technology and the best practices researchers can implement for improved patient experiences and data collection.

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