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Thread: Anyone use Spiro PD?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Anyone use Spiro PD?

    Have any of you used the spiro PD at home? What are your thoughts on it? Could you get insurance to pay for it?

    http://spiropd.com/
    Thirtysomething Dad of three (IVFw/ICSI), Mormon, Engineer in Utah.
    I was dx at 1 yr (failure to thrive), D▲F508, FEV1~94%, PA and MSSA, PI.
    2 brothers w/CF, 3 siblings w/out. My wife and parents are saints.

  2. #2
    bookworm
    Guest
    I've had the SpiroPD for a few years now and I like it. I didn't get insurance to pay for it, but I am finding it very helpful in managing CF. I have the model without the software, but when I want to record the numbers I get I use the camera in my phone.

    Things that it helps with are:

    -identifying the immediate and delayed response of medicines and supplements (sometimes after I use things for a while my response can change dramatically)
    -identifying when I might be having an allergic reaction (if my FEV1 starts going down below a certain number and nothing else has changed, I start looking around for something in my environment that might be bothering me)

    Other ways I use it are:
    - if I have a bad reaction to medicine, I use SpiroPD and then take a picture of my numbers on the spirometer with my camera to document how my numbers have changed with the medicine. Then I use something else that I know will pull me out of the problem and again use the SpiroPD (this may take a few days) and take another snap, and then show both of these to my care team. (I have a lot of sensitivities to various things and this way I can show them what is really happening, which they might be skeptical about otherwise.
    -as an early warning device: if my numbers start sinking below a certain number I can quickly evaluate what changes I might need to make in my daily treatments/exercise program to get me back into the good zone again.
    -as a general learning tool about the types of things that might increase your numbers. Sometimes you just need to rest a bit. Once when I took a break from exercise for a while and slept quite a bit more every night my numbers went up quite a bit.

    So all in all, it's a good learning/observation tool. Since you are an engineer Ethan, I suspect you can find lots of uses for this.

    In terms of product quality I find that it is good. I believe it is used in studies with CF patients (so it must be pretty accurate) and I haven't had any problems with the device. It is well-designed and has nice controls (better designed than most products for CF, I think). I'm sure you'll find areas that could use a bit of improvement, but overall I'd say "pretty good". Areas for improvement include - the arrow down button displayed on screen is a little close to some other onscreen buttons and you'll find that instead of arrowing down, you might bring up the graph/flow display instead. (A bit of a pain.) Also, the time to exhale is longish and you may not look forward to doing it :-).

    Jerry Cahill did an excellent video about SpiroPD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gl6NZH24qY which will show you the device in much more detail. He uses his daily.

    And you can enter to win one here: https://www.facebook.com/spiropd?fref=nf

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
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    Jul 2007
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    2,078
    I didn't have this specific device but a smaller one called the Piko. http://nspirehealth.com/default.asp?LINKNAME=PIKO
    as bookworm said I think it was super helpful to be able to measure my numbers at home to see how I was doing between clinic visits. If I wasn't feeling well I could see if the numbers reflected that. My clinic gave me the device but I have since misplaced it at some point during one of 3 moves over the last few years.
    My doc would have me do a few measurements at my appointments to see how the numbers compared to the clinic pft machine. They were always very close so I felt confident that I was getting an accurate indication of my PFTs at home.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2011
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    211
    I bought one of these almost two years ago. I've not been entirely happy with it. First and most important, it doesn't seem to track with my spirometry results at the clinic. If it was consistently high or low by a certain amount, that would be fine, but that's not the case. To give an example, an early test showed the FEV1 off by .08 (Sprio was low). This seemed close and I thought it was fine. However, as my lung function improves and falls, the Spiro PD doesn't track the differences. A recent study showed the Spiro to be 0.20 higher than the clinic result. This makes me lose confidence in the Spiro's ability to show when my lung function changes.

    The expected values used to calculate % results do not match my clinic. I don't really care as I tend to look at the litres rather than the percentages. However, the Spiro PD only shows the litres to one decimal point on the device, which makes it harder to understand changes. (My background is math, so maybe I'm too anal about this.) You can get the two decimal places by downloading the results to your computer. I thought (hoped) the results would download as a data file that I could pull into a spreadsheet. Instead, it's a PDF that I have to manually type the values into my spreadsheet. The format of the PDF is not the way I would have designed it. Rather than having rows for each date and columns for each value (e.g., FEV1, etc.), it shows the results for each date separately so it's not easy to look at the report and see how the FEV1 has changed with each test. You can briefly see what the output looks like on the Youtube video linked above.

    Another thing that drives me crazy is you have to do three acceptable tests before it shows you the results. It never shows you the results by pass, but only the final results. I also couldn't get it to accept my tests when my lung function was quite low -- it kept saying "try again." I finally got fed up and stopped using it until my health improved.

    Since I started using the machine, my lung function has varied from around 40% up to around 50%. I'm currently right in between those values.

    I did not get insurance to pay for it, but I didn't try. I was pretty sick when I got it so I had other things to worry about.

    I'm sure you were hoping for better reviews, but this is my experience with it.
    Michael
    49M w/cf, mycobacterium abscessus, steno, pseudomonas

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the reviews. One decimal place, what do they think we are? Animals. I definitely get anal about numbers but do appreciate the nuance of taking real life measurements. I've also learned that just because a gauge reads out to 5 decimal points, that doesn't mean that it is accurate to 5 decimal points. But for a system reading out 2-5 liters I expect better than one decimal accuracy. 0.20 liters could be 5-10% inaccurate. If you can't give me accuracy, at least give me a machine with precision.

    I'm over an hour to my clinic (further if I go from my office) and it would be nice to be able to do a PFT without taking half a day off for such a simple test. The reason I'm asking is that I've just been feeling a bit off lately. I had a cold in January, and ran a course of oral antibiotics and inhaled Tobi. I feel tons better than I did in the middle of my cold, but I'm still just a little bit not me. I can't decide if it is just the end of winter blahs or a little dip in lung function. My local hospital has a spirometer and my clinic said I could do a PFT there but warned that the local hospital's numbers wouldn't be calibrated the same as the Clinic's PFTs. I don't know if that mean percent will be calced different (which I could handle) or if calibration of the liter measurement is unique (which would mean the numbers are meaningless until I could baseline the local machine against the clinic machine (assuming that all hospital machine have decent precision)).
    Thirtysomething Dad of three (IVFw/ICSI), Mormon, Engineer in Utah.
    I was dx at 1 yr (failure to thrive), D▲F508, FEV1~94%, PA and MSSA, PI.
    2 brothers w/CF, 3 siblings w/out. My wife and parents are saints.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    211
    I think the reason they only show one decimal point is because the main screen is crowded. However, when you look at the information in detail, they could have shown the extra decimal place. I can tell by the percent if it's gone up or down, but I prefer to go by litres.

    I'm lucky in that I live close to the hospital. I had my spirometry done twice this week -- once at the CF clinic and once at my NTM specialist. Different hospitals and the results were slightly different -- 1.79 (NTM specialist) vs. 1.85 (CF clinic). The 1.85 was actually a surprise. The 1.79 was right in line with what I had seen two weeks earlier at the CF clinic.

    Colds can be very nasty for us. I hope you're back to normal soon and that you don't need more antibiotics.
    Michael
    49M w/cf, mycobacterium abscessus, steno, pseudomonas

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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