The US FDA has issued clearance for Cognita Labs’ PulmoScan, the first at-home lung assessment device that measures airway resistance and elastance, according to the company.

Cognita Labs developed PulmoScan as an alternative to spirometry testing, the company says. The device uses oscillometry, which sends gentle pressure waves to identify airway blockage and stiffening walls. The company reports there have been no affordable portable devices to bring this test to a larger patient population until now.

“The simpler oscillometry method, as done by PulmoScan, is increasingly being adopted and is also reimbursable via CPT code 94728,” the company said in a press release. “Additionally, PulmoScan can also be used at home and covered by the recently released reimbursement codes for remote patient monitoring.”

A need for a simpler test is even more urgent in the COVID-19 era, Cognita Labs says: “The American Lung Association and other groups have advised limiting spirometry to critical patients due to fear of aerosolization that results from the patient’s forced breathing and resulting coughing. Aerosolization can spread the Coronavirus. PulmoScan fills in the gap. PulmoScan only requires rested breathing, reducing the risk, and also eliminating significant patient interaction for training. PulmoScan can be operated wirelessly from a distance, thereby further reducing operational risks.”

Ventura County Medical Center was an early adopter of PulmoScan. “Our nurses are always overwhelmed with patients and sometimes it is not possible to get quality results from young patients,” said Dr Chris Landon of VCMC. “PulmoScan allows us to do a quick test and still get a reliable measure of lung condition. Nurses also feel more comfortable around patients conducting PulmoScan tests during the pandemic.”

More information is available on the company’s website.