GPs, practice nurses, and pharmacists in Oxford will be the first to trial a new AI-driven assessment technology for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The traditional test for COPD, spirometry, is currently in short supply across the UK, leading healthcare company TidalSense to introduce new AI technology for faster and more accurate diagnosis. The N-Tidal device, a high-resolution carbon dioxide sensor combined with an AI platform, can quickly diagnose COPD within five minutes. It will be tested on up to 600 patients in Oxford, with results compared to spirometry tests. The technology has already shown over 91% accuracy in diagnosing severe COPD from a single breath recording in clinical studies, and the aim is to replace spirometry and automate diagnostic tests in the NHS.
The aim of the pilot trial is to provide clinicians with a faster and more accurate assessment of lung function in COPD patients. Early intervention is crucial in managing COPD effectively, and the N-Tidal device has the potential to transform diagnosis and management of this chronic respiratory condition, leading to better patient outcomes. The trial is a collaboration between TidalSense and the Healthier Oxford City Network, a primary care network with four practices. Researchers, including academics from the University of Oxford, are working together to validate the technology’s performance and move towards automating diagnostic tests in the NHS.
Currently, clinical pathways rely on spirometry tests, which are uncomfortable for patients and often produce ambiguous results, leading to high misdiagnosis rates. The delivery of spirometry in primary care also faces operational and logistical challenges, resulting in long waiting times for patients. The N-Tidal device aims to overcome these challenges and provide primary care doctors with accurate and easy-to-perform tests for early and accurate diagnosis. This will reduce healthcare costs, delays in diagnosis, and hospitalization costs, ultimately improving the quality of life for COPD patients.