Study Says: Bronchiectasis Exacerbations Significantly Reduced with HFCWO Therapy

electromed smartvest
Photo courtesy of Electromed

Electromed, Inc. recently announced the results of a longitudinal outcome-based study published in Respiratory Therapy: The Journal of Pulmonary Technique. The longitudinal study shows that high-frequency chest wall oscillation (“HFCWO”) therapy with the SmartVest® Airway Clearance System significantly reduces bronchiectasis-related exacerbations including the need for antibiotics, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations and that this effectiveness was maintained for 2.5 years after the initiation of treatment. Bronchiectasis is an irreversible, chronic lung condition characterized by enlarged and permanently damaged bronchi. The condition is associated with recurrent lower respiratory infections, inflammation, reduction in pulmonary function, impaired respiratory secretion clearance, increased hospitalizations and medication use, and increased morbidity and mortality.1-3 The goals of bronchiectasis treatment are to mobilize airway secretions to reduce respiratory infections, minimize exacerbations, enhance ventilation, and improve a person’s quality of life.4,5

A previously published clinical outcomes study of fifty-nine SmartVest patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (“NCFB”) served as the basis for the longitudinal study.4 This longitudinal study demonstrated that use of HFCWO therapy with the SmartVest system after 2.5 years was associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of bronchiectasis-related exacerbations; 42% decrease in hospitalizations, 38% fewer antibiotic prescriptions, and a 75% decrease in emergency department visits. The study also found that 68% of the patients reported a significant increase in their quality of life. These findings indicate the long-term benefit and clinical utility of HFCWO therapy to reduce bronchiectasis-related exacerbations in patients with NCFB.

“This longitudinal study builds on previously published evidence and demonstrates that improved outcomes for bronchiectasis patients can be sustained 2.5 years after starting SmartVest treatment,” commented Kathleen Skarvan, President and CEO of Electromed. “This is the first study of its kind, a longitudinal bronchiectasis outcomes-based study for HFCWO therapy, and these results continue to demonstrate the considerable potential of HFCWO to improve outcomes and quality of life in this population.”

The SmartVest system uses HFCWO, a clinically proven therapy that helps clear the lungs of excess secretions, thereby reducing the risk of respiratory infections and hospitalizations. HFCWO delivers alternating pulses of air into a vest garment that rapidly compresses and releases the chest wall, resulting in an oscillation in airflow within the airways that acts to loosen, thin, and propel mucus toward the major airways where it can be expectorated.



[1] King PT et al. COPD. 2005;2(1):27-34.

[2] Alzeer AH et al. BMC Pulm Med. 2007; 7:17.

[3] Seitz AE et al. Chest. 2010;138(4):944-949.

[4] Sievert CE et al. Respiratory Therapy Journal. 2016;11(4): 34–38.

[5] Sievert CE et al. Respiratory Therapy Journal. 2017;12(1): 45–49.

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