Increased interest in providing airway clearance has resulted in the introduction of a number of new products to meet the demands of the airway-clearance market. In an interview with RT, Robert D. Hansen, chairman and CEO, Electromed Inc, New Prague, Minn, talks to us about airway clearance and the Electromed SMARTVEST.  

Q: What are the key considerations when evaluating airway clearance products?

A: Consider a patient’s special needs and circumstances in such a way that the patient will conform to the product for proper operation. Is it easy to operate? Does it avoid an intimidating appearance? Is it easy to maintain?

Such patients have been determined to be vulnerable to pneumonia. They need a product that they will use that gets the job done and also conforms to their life circumstances.

Q: What is the biggest misconception RTs have about airway clearance products?

A: The biggest misconception about airway clearance products is that they are all very similar. They are not.  They all have the same objective, but they are by no means the same. One also has to determine total value. A product that appeals to a patient and is therefore adopted by that patient presents the better value.

Q:  Why might the SMARTVEST be a better product than what the leading competitors offer?

A: The SMARTVEST is much easier and convenient to use on a daily basis and therefore more likely to fit into the regimen of the patient. The vest itself is more garment-like than other airway-clearance products. It has a single hose rather than a dual hose, and when it commences operation, it is less intimidating.

Q: How do you envision airway clearance therapy advancing in the future?

A: I think it is going to be used increasingly on more conditions and diagnoses. The source of pneumonia is often a chronic airway clearance problem. By keeping the lungs of the patient clearer, you diminish the likelihood of the onset of pneumonia.