GPs, practice nurses, and pharmacists in Oxford are set to pilot a new AI-driven assessment technology, known as the N-Tidal device, which can quickly and accurately identify patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The traditional test for COPD, spirometry, is currently in short supply across the UK, causing waiting lists for diagnosis to grow. The N-Tidal device combines a high-resolution carbon dioxide sensor with an AI platform to measure changes in lung function that could indicate COPD. This groundbreaking medical device has the potential to revolutionize the way COPD is diagnosed and managed, leading to improved patient outcomes and better care.
The N-Tidal device will be trialed on up to 600 patients with suspected or confirmed COPD in Oxford over a 12-week period. The results from the device will be compared to those from spirometry tests where possible. Clinical studies have already shown that the technology can accurately diagnose severe COPD from a single breath recording with over 91% accuracy. The goal is for the N-Tidal device to replace spirometry in some NHS diagnostic clinical pathways and become an automated diagnostic test. By providing primary care doctors with an accurate and easy-to-use tool for diagnosing patients at the point of symptom presentation, healthcare inefficiencies and costs can be reduced, delays to diagnosis can be minimized, and patients’ quality of life can be improved.
This collaboration between healthcare professionals in Oxford and TidalSense, the company behind the N-Tidal device, aims to address the challenges posed by the limited availability and ambiguity of spirometry tests. The uncomfortable nature of spirometry and the high misdiagnosis rates associated with it lead to significant delays in diagnosis, causing patients to wait months or even years for confirmation of their condition. By introducing the N-Tidal device, which provides faster and more accurate results, patients can receive early intervention and appropriate management for COPD. The success of this trial could pave the way for the adoption of AI-driven assessment technology in diagnosing other respiratory conditions, leading to improved care and outcomes for patients.