NICE Technology Briefing: Thora-3Di for assessing asthma in children

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  • The technology described in this briefing is Thora‑3Di for assessing respiratory function in children with asthma.
  • The innovative aspects are that the measurements are taken non-invasively without the need for special breathing manoeuvres, and provide information on right-versus-left lung function.
  • The intended place in therapy would be instead of spirometry in secondary care in children for conditions such as asthma.
  • The main points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 5 prospective, observational studies including a total of 129 patients and 139 healthy controls (young people and children) in secondary care. They show that Thora‑3Di may be as effective as spirometry in assessing asthma respiratory parameters in children and young people.
  • Key uncertainties around the evidence or technology are that it is not clear which of the breathing parameters measured by Thora‑3Di are specific to assessing asthma, and that there is limited evidence comparing these measures with spirometry.
  • The cost of Thora‑3Di is £25,000 per unit (exclusive of VAT). The resource impact is unclear, but using the device could save costs through quicker testing.
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