University of Buffalo (UB) researchers have created a device aimed at helping alleviate airflow restriction in patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis. The device, when used over a period of six months, aims to clear mucus that can restrict airflow to the lungs, making it increasingly difficult to breathe.
During a trial study, 69 participants were instructed to blow twice into the Lung Flute “vigorously enough to make the reed oscillate, followed by 5 normal breaths. This was repeated 10 times, followed by 3 huff coughs to complete 1 cycle. Two such cycles were recommended twice a day.”
The goal, as described in a UB press release, was to use acoustic waves created by the device to loosen mucus within the lungs allowing for increased airflow.
The 26-week study “confirms that the Lung Flute improves symptoms and health status in COPD patients, decreasing the impact of the disease on patients and improving their quality of life,” said Sanjay Sethi, MD, principal author of the study and chief of the division of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in the Department of Medicine at the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
The positive results of this study are helping researchers to gain ground and credibility for treatments outside of medication and inhaled glucocorticoids. Medical Acoustics, the company enlisted to create the Lung Flute, plans to market the device, which recently received FDA clearance, through collaborations with the University of Buffalo team of researchers.