University of Michigan Develops Portable Breath Analyzer for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

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Recently, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a portable, small breath monitor device that can quickly and effectively detect acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), an often deadly, rapidly progressing disease in which fluid leaks into the lungs and demands early diagnosis.

Currently, doctors rely heavily on their own judgement and time-consuming tests to diagnose ARDS. The researchers say this new technology could improve survival rates and provide a lower cost of care. The new device can diagnose ARDS with almost 90% accuracy in as little as 30 minutes. In addition, its speed and cost-effectiveness allow it to essentially serve as a real-time monitor for patients, as it can help to focus and adjust treatments in real time. This technology has been trialed in 48 patients at the U-M hospital, 21 of the patients having ARDS.

“The most commonly used ARDS prediction tools are only correct about 18% of the time,” said Xudong (Sherman) Fan, U-M professor of biomedical engineering. “We’ve found that if our device tells us the patient is positive for ARDS, it’s highly likely that they’re positive.

“We are able to detect the onset and improvement of the condition before traditional changes in X-rays and blood testing would occur.”

Many that survive ARDS are left with less-than-optimal lung function and frequently have severe difficulty returning to routine daily life and activities. Currently, there is no known cure for ARDS, and mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit is usually required to support the patient until the lung heals. Detecting it early can greatly improve patients’ outcomes.

“Our ability to improve outcomes with ARDS has been basically halted by the lack of technologies that can rapidly and accurately diagnose the disease early as well as track its progress,” said Kevin Ward, U-M professor of emergency medicine and biomedical engineering. “All our current methods result in us treating the disease too late or not having information that tells us if our therapies are making a difference soon enough.

Growth within the anesthesia monitor market closely reflects the growth demonstrated in the anesthesia machine market, as the two capital equipment types are typically bundled and purchased together. Anesthesia monitoring has been implemented as a standard practice in the United States and, additionally, because of the historical high number of deaths due to anesthesia reactions, monitoring is highly critical. Consequently, the anesthesia monitor market in the hospital setting is set to grow in line with the anesthesia delivery unit market at a CAGR of nearly 2%. In terms of units, the ASC market is set to grow similarly to the ASC market for anesthesia machines.

“By utilizing exhaled breath, the technology we have developed solves both problems and opens up significant opportunities to allow us to treat earlier and to develop a host of precision medicine therapies for ARDS. The technology should also be extremely useful in detecting and following the course of many other diseases such as pneumonia, sepsis, asthma and others associated with either lung or systemic blood inflammation,” Ward said.


For Further Information

More on the anesthesia, respiratory, and sleep management devices market in the US can be found in a series of reports published by iData Research entitled the US Market Report Suite for Anesthesia, Respiratory, and Sleep Management Devices.

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