Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a group of progressive lung diseases that makes it harder for a person to breathe, is one of the top three causes of death worldwide
While globally, about 70 percent of the COPD cases are underdiagnosed, the number rises to an alarming 95-98 percent in India. Though there are many reasons for its underdiagnosis, lack of sufficient awareness about the lisease, delay in seeking medical care, correlating COPD with the need for lifelong inhalers and an attached social stigma are some major concerns. The problem worsens in remote and lowresource setting areas.
An underdiagnosis in the clinical setting can be attributed to non-specific or overlapping symptoms, lack of awareness about its severity, and sub-optimal use of spirometry to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. Although spirometry is a safe and noninvasive procedure and is considered the gold standard diagnostic test for obstructive airways diseases, it remains poorly utilised in clinical practice owing to its bulky size, complex functionality, need for regular maintenance, and requirement of an adequately trained technician to run the test. Moreover, it is more time consuming than other point-of-care diagnostic tests (such as those for diabetes and hypertension) and requires the patient’s support for arriving at an accurate diagnosis.
Though testing lung function is critical for accurate diagnosis and the management of COPD and other lung diseases, there is both a lack of epidemiological data as well as statistical information to support the use of spirometry in clinical settings. Further, poor patient turnout is a common observation. Portable spirometry is a proven surrogate device that may conveniently address these issues while revolutionising diagnosis and the management of COPD in a clinical setting.
Disclaimer: Issued in public interest for general awareness and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or for treatment/cure of any medical condition. The views expressed are independent opinions based on studies from authentic sources. Please consult your doctor/a registered medical practitioner before starting any treatment/medicine.