- 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.
Despite its proven efficacy in improving symptoms and reducing exacerbations, many patients with asthma are not fully adherent to their steroid inhaler. Suboptimal adherence leads to poorer clinical outcomes and increased health service utilisation, and has been identified as a contributing factor to a third of asthma deaths in the UK. Reasons for non-adherence vary, and a variety of interventions have been proposed to help people improve treatment adherence.
The studies we found suggest that various strategies can help people with asthma take their inhaler better, compared with “control” (e.g. usual asthma care). However, many of these studies were quite different from one another, and we are not certain about whether people will find that their asthma is improved as a result of this approach.
Link to full review here