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TELESPIROMETRY: NOVEL SYSTEM FOR HOME MONITORING OF ASTHMATIC PATIENTS

Bruderman I, Abboud S.
Meir Hospital, Kfar Saba, Israel.
Telemed J 1997 Summer;3(2):127-33

OBJECTIVES: To describe a newly developed telespirometry system consisting of a portable spirometer that transmits the lung ventilatory values by telephone from the patient's home to a remote monitoring center and to assess the ability of the telespirometry system to detect early signs of asthmatic deterioration.

METHODS: Thirty-nine patients with moderate to severe asthma were monitored with the telespirometry system. The lung function testing and transmission of the spirometric data by telephone from the patient's home to a remote monitoring center were performed according to the patient's judgment. All previous transmissions of the spirometric data were analyzed retrospectively to detect early signs of asthmatic deterioration, which resulted in dispatch of the mobile intensive care unit (MICU) to the patient's home.

RESULTS: In 19 patients (49%), analysis of the spirometric data detected early signs of asthmatic deterioration. Analysis of the spirometric data correlated with decisions to dispatch the MICU in 22 of 39 (56%) patients. In patients with severe asthma, the decision was made during oral communication between the patient and the operator and was based on clinical impression rather than functional results.

CONCLUSION: Home monitoring of asthmatic patients with the telespirometry system may improve the management of the disease and the quality of life and reduce costly hospitalizations.

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