Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that causes significant breathing issues and is prevalent among smokers and people with significant exposure to airborne toxins like pollution, industrial fumes and asbestos. There are an estimated 13 million people in the U.S. living with COPD, and many more are believed to be undiagnosed.
COPD is becoming a more common disease in the U.S. especially as more smokers are getting older. The disease can still emerge years after a smoker quits, meaning that many non-smokers may be suffering from the condition without realizing that they are in a target category.
Often, symptoms of COPD aren’t diagnosed until later in the disease. While lung function tests can give doctors indication of COPD, only X-rays or CT scans can identify the problem for sure. Healthcare practitioners may also need to test blood oxygen levels and for heart rate problems.
COPD is historically diagnosed late
COPD is a slowly progressing disease and it isn’t often diagnosed until an individual is in their 50s. Usually the symptoms that lead to the diagnosis are also indicators that the disease has progressed too far. There is no cure for the disease, but doctors who have an early diagnosis can prescribe medicine and treatment earlier. Plus, the diagnosis can inspire better lifestyle choices from sufferers.
NBT technology finds COPD
ANCON’s NBT technology can provide a better screening result than a lung function test, giving medical providers a better preliminary reading from which to diagnose the presence of COPD. The NBT device works by detecting chemical “biomarkers” in an individual’s breath, which act as a signature for the disease. The NBT device can be reprogrammed for any disease for which the biomarker has been discovered, including COPD.
Researchers have discovered the biomarkers for COPD, which includes a range of diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. This means that with a simple breath test, an individual can learn if they might have COPD.
Ancon Medical’s NBT device provides an ideal tool for COPD screening for point-of-service healthcare facilities. It is versatile, and can be used to detect a variety of diseases for which biomarkers have been, or will be, detected. It’s easy to use, making it accessible to staff with limited training and its convenient suitcase size makes it easy to move. In the correct settings, NBT can provide quality early screenings for COPD to give individuals the time they need to start an early fight against the disease.