June 7th, 2012
The story behind Spiro PD:
Our daughter, Kate, has had asthma since she was 5 years old. My husband would watch me track her peak flow numbers on log sheets year after year. It seemed like each year her allergy/asthma symptoms would sneak up on us and we would end up running to the doctor with Kate in the middle of a bout of bronchitis or sinusitis and her experiencing asthma symptoms. My husband thought this was ridiculous and that there had to be a better way to manage the disease.
Having recently sold a manufacturing business he owned for over twenty years, he was ready to use his biochemistry and manufacturing backgrounds to launch a medical device business. He decided his first priority was to find a way to bring lung function monitoring to the home environment to help the millions of people suffering from lung diseases world-wide. The more research he did, he found that it was not just asthma patients who were guessing how bad or good their condition was between doctor appointments. Those with COPD (chronic bronchitis and emphysema) and cystic fibrosis, recipients of lung transplants, and those with other lung diseases could also use the help of being able to monitor themselves at home, work, play or while away at college, on vacation or at camp.
After much research and putting together a fabulous team of engineers, Spiro PD was born. It meets the standards of the American Thoracic Society and received clearance from the Federal Drug Administration in 2011.
Once Kate’s device arrived, our thirteen year old fully programmed the device in less than 5 minutes. She set up her profile and entered all of her medications and dosages and set up the automatic alarm reminders. I was looking over her shoulder and couldn’t even keep up with how fast she was entering things and moving through the screens.
The device has been a godsend. I no longer have to print out monthly log sheets for her to track her daily medications and she no longer has to jot things down. When she takes her medications, after the device reminds her to do so, she just hits a button that logs it into the system for her. I don’t have to remind her to take her medicines or record when she takes them and I can always look back though the data to see if she missed taking any of her meds.
A few nights ago she was outside playing tennis/lacrosse with her brother (she uses a tennis racquet and tennis ball and her brother uses his lacrosse stick) and running around. Then she ran in and said, “Oh, I think I’m wheezing”. No worries on our part; she settled down for a minute, had a glass of water and took a test on her Spiro PD and we all saw that she was fine. We didn’t hear any wheezing either. In the past, we would have been wondering – How bad is she? Should she stay in now? Can she go back out and play? I LOVE that we are not guessing anymore!!!!
Kate participates in sports camps over the summer and I am thrilled that we have this device to monitor her more closely. Her asthma is mild but last summer, on an exceptionally hot day, her tennis camp really did her in. I really wish I had had the device then to test her on the spot and know for sure if she needed a puff of her rescue inhaler or if it was just heat exhaustion. We are looking forward to a worry-free summer now that we are empowered to monitor her on a more regular basis and will be able to spot any declines in her lung function BEFORE they become a problem.
We wish all of you a wonderful, worry-free summer too!!!!! We would love to hear about your experience with your Spiro PD and/or answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to comment below!!! We can all learn from each other!
Personal spirometry is one of the newest, most exciting developments in the treatment of asthma, COPD (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis), cystic fibrosis, and lung transplantation. The Spiro PD blog is dedicated to communicating the advantages of personal spirometry to help improve the health of people with respiratory problems everywhere.