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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versão On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versão impressa ISSN 0256-9574


DU PLESSIS, E et al. The utility of hand-held mobile spirometer technology in a resource-constrained setting. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2019, vol.109, n.4, pp.219-222. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Mobile phone-linked spirometry technology has been designed specifically for evaluating lung function at primary care level. The Air-Smart Spirometer is the first mobile spirometer accepted in Europe for the screening of patients with chronic respiratory diseases OBJECTIVES: To prospectively assess the accuracy of the device in measuring forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) in a South African population, and to investigate the ability of the device to detect obstructive ventilatory impairment METHODS: A total of 200 participants were randomly assigned to perform spirometry with either the mobile spirometer connected to a smartphone or the desktop spirometer first, followed by the other. The FEV1/FVC ratio as well as the absolute FEV1 and FVC measurements were compared, using each participant as their own control. A Pearson correlation and Bland-Altman analysis were performed to measure the agreement between the two devices. We defined obstructive ventilatory impairment as FEV1/FVC <0.7 measured by desktop spirometry in order to calculate the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of the Air-Smart Spirometer RESULTS: There was a strong correlation between the absolute FEV1 and FVC values and FEV1/FVC ratio measured with the mobile AirSmart Spirometer and more conventional pulmonary function testing, with r=0.951, r=0.955 and r=0.898, respectively. The Air-Smart Spirometer had a sensitivity of 97.6%, specificity of 74.4%, PPV of 73.0% and NPV of 97.8% for obstructive ventilatory impairment CONCLUSIONS: The mobile Air-Smart Spirometer compared well with conventional spirometry, making it an attractive and potentially affordable tool for screening purposes in a primary care setting. Moreover, it had a high sensitivity and NPV for obstructive ventilatory impairment

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