First Connected Airway Clearance System, VisiVest, Presented by Hill-Rom

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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4-D lung scanner

Hill-Rom Holdings recently announced the introduction of the VisiVest System – a connected therapeutic garment for patients requiring airway clearance therapy, including patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).

The VisiVest System combines innovative high-frequency chest-wall oscillation (HFCWO) technology with wireless connectivity powered by Qualcomm Life.

The HFCWO technology consists of a wearable vest that surrounds an inflatable air bladder, a programmable air pulse generator, and a hose connecting the two. The patient wears the vest, which rapidly repeats pulses of air, squeezing and releasing the patients’ chest. Each squeeze simulates a “mini cough” that should loosen mucus from the lung airways’ walls, and propels mucus toward larger airways, where patients can more easily expel it.


Photo Credits: Hill-Rom

The technology is suitable for patients of all ages, including newborns and senior citizens, and is easily integrated into a patient’s daily, long-term treatment routine. It’s meant to be self-administered twice a day, from 15 to 30 minutes each time, at 20 compressions per second. The combination provides data on therapy adherence that might help more informed decisions by caregivers, resulting in a reduced risk of respiratory infections, hospital visits, and overall medical costs.

“In healthcare, the ability to make decisions based on accurate, timely information is essential,” said Alton Shader, Hill-Rom’s president of Front Line Care, in a press release. “The VisiVest System and Qualcomm Life’s 2net connectivity solution bring care teams and patients closer, helping to better manage patients’ illness and improve their quality of life.”

Patients can access data from the VisiVest System in their VisiView Health Portal, a remote and secure cloud-based system that automatically receives information from the patient’s home. The VisiView Health Portal was developed by Razorfish, a leading application development company, to display data trends in a user-friendly dashboard format. This connectivity promotes better communication between caregivers and patients, so that treatment decisions can be better tailored and more responsive, ultimately improving therapy adherence.

“We are thrilled to be working with a global industry leader in healthcare technology and excited by the impact our collaboration with Hill-Rom can have for chronic lung disease patients and their caregivers,” said Rick Valencia, president of Qualcomm Life. “By combining Hill-Rom’s leadership in healthcare with Qualcomm Life’s expertise in connectivity, we are innovating to deliver effortless connected experiences that empower patients and their care providers.”

In the past few months, a pilot study has been conducted with 160 patients from seven cystic fibrosis clinics that adopted the VisiVest System. The study indicated that both patients and care teams are excited with this new technology.

“What I like most about the VisiVest System is being able to see my patients’ session data and trends,” said Tom Newton, a Miller Children’s Hospital’s pulmonary therapist. “Now I’m not just telling my patients the more adherent they are to their therapy, the higher their pulmonary function numbers are likely to be. We can actually look at their adherence score together and have a more comprehensive conversation about their numbers.”