Medical

Providing an early indicator of COVID-19

25th March 2020
Joe Bush

As of Tuesday 24th March, the number of global coronavirus cases rose to 398,834 with 6,650 confirmed cases in the UK alone. The COVID-19 strain of coronavirus has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and there has been an urgent call for innovation that can help with the diagnosis or treatment of the virus. Kent-based medical device manufacturer, Bedfont Scientific believes its NObreath FeNO monitor could help.

Recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), and the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), FeNO is as an objective test for airway inflammation and could theoretically be used to screen patients or office workers routinely or those suspected to have COVID-19 - increasing FeNO levels can be an early indicator as the infection occurs in the upper respiratory tract and can lead to respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, which causes inflammation.

NObreath testing is non-invasive and crucially, the monitor is portable, which means testing can be performed by healthcare professionals at home. The NObreath mouthpieces have been vigorously tested by Public Health England, and are proven to remove and trap 96.8% and 95% of airborne bacteria and viruses respectively. Unlike other FeNO measuring methods, the NObreath testing technique does not require patients to inhale through the device, reducing the risk of cross-infection. Lastly, the NObreath monitor itself is integrated with SteriTouch technology, which eradicates the bacteria that causes contamination and infection.

Jason Smith, Managing Director, commented: “As the spread of COVID-19 seems relentless we find ourselves trying to weather the storm both personally and as a business. Being a medical device manufacturer, we are fortunate enough to be in a position where we can try and help but that does mean it is necessary to have some of the Bedfont Family, our employees, attend the offices.

“Whilst not desirable, it’s necessary to support the business and all the families it provides for. Covid-19 is hard to diagnose and we know very little about it presently, however we know about airway inflammation and so we are testing employees each day - any who have an increase in FeNO of ≥15ppb or ≥20% from their baseline reading will immediately be sent to self-isolate for 14 days.”

Although designed as a diagnostic and management aid for asthma, Bedfont hopes the NObreath could help mass screen changes in inflammation levels so patients can self-isolate early-on, helping to reduce the spread of the virus.

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