People who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often have attacks (exacerbations) where their symptoms worsen. These exacerbations can be life-threatening and lead to expensive hospitalizations. There has not been a way to predict when an exacerbation is about to take place. However, according to an article in the Times of Israel, May 14, 2019. an Israeli company called Resmetrix has developed a wearable monitor that can be worn at home, in the hospital or any place. The Resmetrix monitor can discover changes in breathing patterns that can predict that an exacerbation is developing.
Resmetrix Wearable Monitor
This wearable monitor can alert the person or caregiver that an exacerbation may be coming on and this allows steps to be taken in time to minimize or prevent such a serious attack from taking place and to avoid hospitalizations. This is especially beneficial for small children, as they cannot always communicate what they are feeling.
Portable, Wearable, Wireless, Continuous Non-invasive Chest Strap for Respiratory Monitoring
The portable, wearable, wireless, continuous non-invasive chest strap of the monitor includes the following:
- Unique Sensor that can detect any deterioration in breathing patterns as well as improvement in the respiratory state of the person.
- A1 algorithm tools that can evaluate the progression of the disease according to breathing patterns, predict and call attention to a developing exacerbation and also show how the person may be responding to treatment.
- A cloud-based platform that works in combination with a smartphone app.
Clinical Study at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel
A clinical study of 15 asthma patients at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel has shown a high correlation between the signals picked up by the Remetrix monitor strap and a spirometer/flow that meters tidal volume signals.
The Resmetrix monitor successfully detected changes in the respiratory patterns of patients with asthma during a mild exacerbation and also showed how the patient was responding to treatment.
The trial also showed that the Remetrix monitor was able to continuously monitor with accuracy respiratory patterns in different levels of physical exercise.
Advantages of the Remetrix Monitor in the Hospital
The continuous monitoring of breathing patterns will be able to alert the medical staff as to whether the patient’s condition is deteriorating or improving. This could lead to a reduction in those needing to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
This will also enable patients to be discharged earlier from the hospital, as the Remetrix device will be able to closely continue monitoring patients at home. This could also result in more successful respiratory care, less hospitalization time and lower expenses.
The Resmetrix Monitor and Outpatient Care
Since the Remetrix monitor will be able to detect deterioration in the condition of patients early enough for carrying out interventions in time to prevent a major exacerbation, the Remetrix system may be able to prevent unnecessary visits to the emergency room (ER) as well as fewer admissions and re-admissions to the hospital. The result of this could be safer care for patients in the outpatient clinics as well as lower costs.
The Resmetrix Monitor and Sports
Since the Resmetrix monitor is portable and wireless, it could find its place in the market for sport medicines.
Aims of Resmetrix
The researchers hope to raise enough funds to begin marketing their product once they get the Resmetrix monitor approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They envisage that physicians will be able to offer the monitor to hospitalized patients who will continue to wear it at home after they are discharged.
COPD is the Fourth Leading Cause of Death in the United States
According to the National heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), about 16 million Americans suffer from COPD, which is a major cause of disability and the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. Smoking is the main risk factor for developing COPD and cigarette smoking is the cause of 75% of the cases. While not all people with COPD smoke, environmental pollution, chemical fumes, second-hand smoke and exposure to lung irritants in the work place can also lead to COPD. Genetic factors also are a risk for a rare type of COPD.
Millions of People with COPD Undiagnosed
Millions of people with COPD do not even know they have it, as it has not been diagnosed. This is unfortunate because, while it is presently considered to be incurable, it is treatable and much can be done to ease the symptoms of COPD and to help a person carry on with day-to-day activities. You can read more about COPD in our blog post from March 28, 2019.
The Need for Long-term Care
Since COPD is a progressive disease, many patients with severe COPD end up needing to go to a skilled long-term rehabilitation and nursing facility such as the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York. Van Duyn has a Respiratory Wellness unit that is staffed by professional respiratory therapists. Van Duyn also has a great array of recreational therapy programs and the air in Syracuse has been rated by the American Lung Association for being among the cleanest cities in America for fine particle air pollution:
- Ranked 122 for high ozone days out of 227 metropolitan areas
- Tied for first place for cleanest metropolitan areas in the country for 24-hour particle pollution
- Ranked 174 for annual particle pollution out of 187 metropolitan areas
This portable wearable monitor may change the outcomes for many people afflicted with respiratory illness.