The device aims to give clarity to parents on whether kids are wheezing, allowing them to act in time to prevent asthma attacks
Medical device manufacturer OMRON Healthcare has launched a device in Europe that detects wheezing in kids in order to pre-empt asthma attacks.
The WheezeScan device is for use on children between 4 months and 7 years old and gives parents the ability to discern if a child is wheezing or not, giving them a head start in treating asthma symptoms before they result in a full-blown attack.
The product, alongside its companion app for logging wheezing episodes, is part of OMRON’s “going for zero” promise – an ambition to use medical technology to eradicate asthma attacks in children.
OMRON Healthcare CEO & president André Van Gils said: “our Going For Zero promise tells us to do everything we can to enable people to get more out of life because they’re not controlled by their condition.
“With this in mind, we have developed the WheezeScan, which marks a new milestone in our quest to equip people with the best tools to achieve an accurate level of detection and monitoring when it truly counts.
“As the global leader in respiratory therapy, introducing preventative, highly portable healthcare technology to provide relief right when people need it, is amongst our biggest priorities.”
How does the WheezeScan help prevent asthma attacks in kids?
According to OMRON, wheezing is the most common asthmatic symptom in children under the age of 5.
Despite this, at least 55% of parents identified wheezing different than clinicians in a comprehensive study.
OMRON believes this can be for a number of reasons, including the prospect of a looming asthma attack causing anxiety and hesitation, the fact that wheezes don’t always sound the same and because children are too young to articulate what they’re experiencing.
The WheezeScan addresses this lack of clarity with an objective assessment of the presence of wheezing, which is obtained by holding the device firmly below their child’s right collarbone for 30 seconds, after which a green light will appear under either the “Wheeze” or “No Wheeze” section.
At the technical level, the product uses advanced listening technology designed to identify sounds in a child’s wheezing that parents may not be able to hear.
A diaphragm of micron-width material detects low-volume wheezing, which, combined with an HD-quality microphone, a built-in noise cancelling system, and a specialised on-board computer, allows the device to provide a clear reading.
WheezeScan also pairs with its companion app, AsthmaDiary, to keep track of wheeze episodes, enabling parents to log data of potential trigger factors and response to medication, as well as identifying trends.
One benefit of logging episodes is that parents can then equip doctors with details about the frequency of wheezing episodes, allowing for more tailored development of control plans.
The CE-marked device is available for purchase in the UK and Germany from OMRON Healthcare’s website, but is also available in other parts of Europe from a select number of online retailers.