A study led by the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research at The University of Edinburgh found that asthma costs the NHS at least £1.1 billion each year, with at least £666 million of this spent on prescription costs. Therefore, new technologies that can improve asthma care are essential for both patients and the UK health service.
It is suspected that 30% of patients currently diagnosed with asthma have been misdiagnosed, causing considerable, avoidable costs to the NHS which means that patients aren’t receiving the care that they need.
To minimise the risk of this happening, the FeNO test can be used to ensure more accurate and effective diagnosis of suspected asthma cases, as well as excluding patients who have other respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) has been supporting the implementation of FeNO testing across the West Midlands. Andrea McConkey, Innovation Project Manager for Rapid Uptake Products at WMAHSN and Martin Allen, Respiratory Consultant & Respiratory Clinical Lead at WMAHSN, are supporting the rollout of this innovative technology.
What is FeNO testing?
FeNO stands for ‘fractional exhaled nitric oxide’ and a FeNO test is a point of care test which measures the levels of nitric oxide when a patient breathes out.
Nitric oxide is produced in the airways when they are inflamed, thus is a biomarker for asthma, so the FeNO test provides a score showing the levels of inflammation in the airways. This provides a better understanding of an individual patient’s condition and allows clinicians to both diagnose asthma and, by monitoring FeNO levels, start or adjust doses of steroids to refer to a specialist for asthma biologics.
By doing this, FeNO testing improves patient care and outcomes and enables care providers to give the best possible outcome for every patient.
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