Hill-Rom Introduces Mobile Airway Clearance Therapy Vest for CF Patients

Maria Verissimo, MSc avatar

by Maria Verissimo, MSc |

Share this article:

Share article via email
diet and CF

A more light weight and mobile vest for people with cystic fibrosis or related diseases who need help with airway clearance is now available for use at home or while traveling through its developer, Hill-Rom, the company announced. The system is based on a mobile vest created by a CF patient.

A number of therapy systems for home airway clearance can require a generator and that the patients be seated while undergoing the treatment, requirements that impact daily activities. Hill-Rom notes that its new Monarch Airway Clearance System is the first in its line of these products to have a rechargeable battery for better mobility. It may be used while people go about their day.

The airway clearance system is composed of a vest with eight inner Pulmonary Oscillating Discs (PODs) that generate kinetic energy (oscillatory movement) targeted to the lungs. High frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) therapy helps thin the mucus, which moves up and out of the lungs, increasing airflow. The vest, which weighs 13 pounds (about six kilograms) and comes with a portable carrying case, is intended for patients with chronic breathing difficulties, such as cystic fibrosis.

“I wanted to create a portable, long-lasting battery-powered device that clears the lungs so patients are free to be outside, go camping, live a fuller, higher quality of life,” Marten DeVlieger, the device’s inventor and a cystic fibrosis patient who collaborated with Hill-Rom to design the Monarch system, said in a press release. “It is exciting to see my vision for mobile therapy come true.”

The Monarch system vest also incorporates a long-term evolution (LTE) or WiFi technology to keep patients wirelessly connected to their care team using a health portal designed by Hill-Rom, called VisiView.

This portal was designed to enhance communication between healthcare teams and patients. It is a secure, cloud-based platform that automatically receives information from respiratory care devices in a patient’s home, such as the Monarch system, allowing physicians to directly monitor a patient’s progress.

“We know that consistent respiratory therapy improves lung function,” said Alton Shader, president, Front Line Care at Hill-Rom. “The Monarch system gives patients more control to fit therapy into their lives and to actively stay on track to meet their therapy goals.”

The vest also has Bluetooth to connect to a mobile app, which allows each patient to personally control the Monarch system.

The Monarch vest is FDA-cleared for use by patients age 15 and older. It is the newest airway clearance therapy device by Hill-Rom, the maker of The Vest Airway Clearance System.