World first breath analysis Bosch FeNO device launched for patients
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has announced its final guidelines (Published 29 November 2017) to improve asthma diagnosis underlining its commitment to FeNO - fractional exhaled nitric oxide - testing to more effectively support the diagnosis of asthma.
The move has been hailed as a significant step forward in the diagnosis and management of asthma by German manufacturing giant Bosch and its chosen distributor Healthcare 21, who have together launched a world first breath analysis device which uses the FeNO measure to improve quality of life for asthmatics.
NICE, the independent organisation which approves drugs and treatments for NHS funding, has announced its Final Guidelines that include FeNO as part of objective tests for asthma in primary care.
The new guidance is expected to save the NHS money through better diagnosis of asthma with the proper implementation of more accurate breath tests such as FeNO which measures the levels of nitric oxide in the breath which are known to be related to lung inflammation and asthma.
Dr John Alexander, consultant in paediatric intensive care at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and co-chair of the guideline committee, said: “This guideline sets out the most effective options to treat asthma to make patients feel better and potentially save the NHS money.”
Professor Mark Baker, director of clinical practice at NICE said: “We are recommending objective testing with spirometry and FeNO for most people with suspected asthma; a significant enhancement to current practice, which will take the NHS some time to implement, with additional infrastructure and training needed in primary care.
“New models of care, being developed locally, could offer the opportunity to implement these recommendations. This may involve establishing diagnostic hubs to make testing efficient and affordable.
They will be able to draw on the positive experience of NICE’s primary care pilot sites, which trialled the use of FeNO.
The NICE guidance has paved the way for Healthcare 21 which has been chosen by Bosch Healthcare Solutions to launch the new Vivatmo me, the company’s world first medical device for asthma patients to use at home, which measures the levels of exhaled nitric oxide and helps to monitor their treatment and adherence more closely.
There is also a version of the device called the Vivatmo pro which is designed especially for use by asthma health professionals such as GPs and respiratory nurses.
David Plotts business development director of Healthcare 21, who has consulted regularly with NICE around the original FeNO guidance, said: “I am delighted that NICE has asserted the importance of FeNO in the diagnosis and ongoing management of asthma.
“Diagnosis is reliant on the interpretation by a clinician, with ideally a respiratory specialism, of a complex combination of factors involving assessing symptoms, physiological profiling and the use of various measurements, none of which taken on their own provide a conclusive result.
“FeNO provides more clarity because the presence of exhaled nitric oxide from the lungs is a proven link to the inflammation found in asthma.”
Mr Plotts added: “Now with Bosch Healthcare Solutions launching both breath analysis models which use FeNO, there are far reaching benefits for both doctors and for the first time, asthma patients themselves, who will be able to buy this device and use it at home and have more control over their condition and treatment.”
Marc Meier, General Manager of Bosch Healthcare Solutions said: “Our breath analysis device gives asthma patients real time information over their condition for the first time. It is easy to use into their daily routine so patients can regularly measure their FeNO at home – similar to diabetics monitoring their blood sugar – and monitor their asthma. They learn to detect early on which individual factors improve or worsen their asthma and in turn, this can lead to a more confident and conscientious way of dealing with the condition.”
The launch of the Vivatmo pro and Vivatmo me follows three years in development and collaboration with patients and doctors. The feedback was factored into the engineering and product design.
In April 2014 FeNO was recommended by NICE to help diagnose and manage asthma for NHS patients https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/dg12/chapter/1-recommendations.
The final guidance from NICE on FENO is available: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng80/chapter/Recommendations