Rupal Shah, MD, associate professor at the University of California San Francisco, talks about how the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity for patients who have undergone a lung transplant to undergo spirometry testing at home instead of at the the hospital.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic generated an opportunity for patients who underwent a lung transplant to use spirometry testing at home instead of in the hospital, says Rupal Shah, MD, associate professor at the University of California San Francisco.
Why did you study this topic?
For a long time in lung transplant, we have thought about how to best monitor our patients’ lung function. The way that we monitor how well the transplant is working is with spirometry, which is a test of how well your lungs can take air in and blow it out. Historically, we've had people come to the hospital every 3 months and do the tests in the lab and interpret those results. But it would be much easier if patients, especially those who live far away, could do that at home and could do it more frequently than once every 3 months. So, that was the idea behind trying to get something that we could use at home or remote monitoring.
Obviously, the onset of the pandemic really accelerated that. We were no longer allowed to have people come in for a long time, and then subsequently, everyone needed a COVID-19 test and access was much more limited. Although the concept of remote monitoring existed before the pandemic, I think the onset of the pandemic accelerated the idea of trying to rapidly implement this technology and then study how effective it is and what were the challenges to using it in our population.