Identifying Respiratory conditions early and managing them effectively

In the pre-pandemic world, due to rising pollution and smoking habits, respiratory conditions were a leading cause of patient admissions in ERs and death in India and globally after cardiovascular diseases.

Patients having lung conditions suffer from regular bouts of breathlessness and feel like choking. Their regular daily activities are hampered and their movements get constrained and they are not able to do their regular chores.

Now, post-pandemic, with the inherent nature of the diseases being lung impacting, it has become very much important for us to take control of our respiratory conditions and effectively detect, manage and prevent the conditions from aggravating. While the long-term impact of the disease on our bodies is still being analyzed, experts are of the opinion that the lungs are getting impacted for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

Unfortunately, unlike cardiac problems – for which a lot of affordable, accessible diagnostic digital, wearable, hi-tech tools have been developed which can be deployed in home-care or a family physician clinic for giving clinical-grade outputs, for early detection and regular monitoring – such tools are currently absent for respiratory conditions. Hence, there is a feeling amongst the experts that there is a lot of undiagnosed population and the exact prevalence of the respiratory diseases is still unknown.

Additionally, unlike cardiac care, respiratory conditions affect a lot of low-income populations given the nature of the work and living conditions.

As of today, for managing, measuring, and diagnosing lung conditions at home, people are still required to use rudimentary and mechanical techniques which don’t give measurable clinical-grade outputs and accurate history of the symptoms and conditions, which hampers the treatment course.

For regular clinical-grade diagnostic tests like Spirometry or HRCT to measure improvement over time, the patients have to visit a tertiary care hospital or an eminent pulmonologist where these tools are available. This makes the disease management unaffordable or inaccessible for a lot of patients which hampers their regular monitoring and affecting their conditions.

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