The first reports from the field suggest that a new population of emerging COVID-19 patients may need life-long respiratory support and monitoring.
Reduced lung function lungs after COVID-19
Reports studying the effects of COVID-19 infection in the first wave of patients recovering from the virus indicate long-term damage to lung tissue and lung capacity. Researchers have established that that COVID-19 causes short- or long-term respiratory distress (1) or lung damage (2) in severely affected individuals. The South China Morning Post reports official statements that some patients have shown a 20 to 30 percent drop in lung capacity but that the exact long-term effects of the virus are yet to be ascertained (3). A recently study (4) where the CT images of the lungs of 919 infected patients were analyzed revealed opacities indicative of tissue damage. The study established a close relation between the pattern of CT findings and disease course.
Staying at home with Spirohome Personal
The findings coming in from different parts of the world where the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting people suggest that the future of some recovering patients is likely to involve continual ventilatory support and/or monitoring of lung function. In response to these predictions the medical device industry is taking action to meet the needs and challenges of this unique population of patients that have experienced one of the greatest unprecedented events of the century. Spirohome ultrasonic spirometers have also seen an increase in demand by chronic respiratory patients from all around the world who are considered as a high-risk groups for COVID-19-related complications. Patients want to monitor their lung health in the safety and comfort of their own homes with the Spirohome Personal during self-isolation. The opportunity to perform lung function tests at home and send results directly to doctors without the need for clinic visits protects not only respiratory patients who may be more susceptible to the novel coronavirus, but also our much appreciated healthcare workers, currently hospitalised patients and the wider community (5).
Spirohome Web Dashboard wants to help ‘flatten the curve’
Efforts to ‘flatten the curve’ as a means of delaying and reducing the peak number of potential COVID-19 cases that may occur, is supported by Spirohome’s home spirometry solutions. The Spirohome Personal and the Spirohome Web Dashboard used by clinicians to track patients remotely is not only supporting existing respiratory patients, but is also an invaluable tool for those recovering from COVID-19. Trend data collected by the Spirohome Personal can be used in evaluating the long-term effects of the virus in these patients, contributing to the bank of clinical knowledge being collected about the pandemic. Spirohome is currently offering free access to the Spirohome Web Dashboard for any clinics or hospitals who need to transfer patients to a home spirometry program to keep hospitals from becoming overpopulated and overwhelmed.
We are all in this together.