Philips’ VitaBreath is the first hand-held intermittent pressure support device available to COPD patients

Portable, non-pharmaceutical intermittent PAP device complements existing COPD therapies, giving patients the confidence to live active lives

Philips Respironics has launched VitaBreath, a new, intermittent portable positive airway pressure (PAP) device that uses only ambient air to give Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) sufferers relief from activity-related shortness of breath in less than two minutes.

Available first to clinicians in the UK, followed by Australia and India later this year, VitaBreath can help to reduce breathlessness recovery time by up to 40%, enabling COPD patients to gain the confidence to live fuller, more-active lives.

In the UK alone, approximately 30,000 people die from COPD every year. Roughly one million have been diagnosed, while another two million go undiagnosed, according to the British Lung Foundation. Many patients restrict their activities dramatically because they are worried about experiencing shortness of breath. Some become breathless so quickly that they struggle to complete daily activities such as climbing the stairs or leaving their homes.

VitaBreath is a genuinely-exciting clinical proposition and one that I believe has the potential for becoming a standard of care in the future

Breathlessness is a distressing symptom of COPD which persists in many patients despite treatment with long-acting bronchodilators.

“Patients who regularly experience episodes of dyspnoea need immediate relief and can’t wait several minutes for a medication to take effect,” said Dr Robert Angus, consultant in respiratory medicine at Aintree University Hospital.

“VitaBreath is a new approach with early research showing that it can improve recovery times for people suffering with dyspnoea.

“VitaBreath is a genuinely-exciting clinical proposition and one that I believe has the potential for becoming a standard of care in the future.”

VitaBreath complements the current standard of COPD care and can be used in parallel with existing therapies or medications. Because it is non-pharmaceutical, COPD patients experiencing activity-related shortness of breath can use it as often as they need. VitaBreath provides 10 cmH2O pressure support to reduce the work of breathing for patients and keep their airways open during exhalation.

Clinical testing conducted by Philips demonstrated that patients recovered more quickly using VitaBreath than with existing medications and therapies alone. VitaBreath can be used by patients both in and outside the home, and can also be a useful support tool during pulmonary rehabilitation sessions.

For COPD patients struggling with breathlessness, VitaBreath:

  • Delivers intermittent Bi-level PAP therapy, reducing the work of breathing during inhalation and helping to keep patients’ airways open during exhalation
  • Is a portable, easy-to-use device that weighs about 0.5 kilograms and is about the size of a 500 ml water bottle. It can easily fit in a handbag or a jacket pocket
  • Has a rechargeable lithium ion battery providing up to three days of use, allowing patients to be confident that if they get short of breath during physical exertion, they have easy access to quick relief

“VitaBreath is the only device of its kind today and further reinforces our commitment to providing physicians with healthcare innovations that improve the quality of life of their patients,” said Neil Mesher, managing director of Philips Healthcare UK and Ireland.

“With VitaBreath, clinicians will be armed with an effective tool to augment and enhance existing treatments, and COPD sufferers can now spend time at home doing daily activities, or out enjoying life with friends and family, without worry.”

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