What is spirometry?
Spirometers analyze lung functions by measuring the rate of airflow and lung vital capacity. Several parameters can be calculated from spirometry test which are related to lung health and capacity.
Spirometry results are usually visualized by pneumotachographs. These charts plot the volume and airflow of the lung from one inhalation to exhalation. Several tests are being used but the most frequently used is FVC test which means forced volume vital capacity. The patient takes the deepest breath they can and exhales into the spirometer as hard and as long as possible.
Using these results doctors can recommend a treatment and improve patients’ life.
Types of spirometers
There are several types of spirometers. Uscom’s PureFlow technology uses ultrasonic sensors in its spirometers which is the best method as you can see below.
Ultrasonic spirometers provide non-invasive measurements by using ultrasonic sensors to measure the transit time of ultrasonic pulses (known as time-of-flight measurement). Several studies proved that they are accurate, stable and not too sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and pressure, these effects can easily be compensated by software.
Their low flow resistance is well suited to measure lung functions of children, elderly and sick patients.
These kind of spirometers only measure the peak expiratory flow (PEF) which is used to determine whether there is an obstruction in the airways by measuring how fast can the patient forcefully exhale after a full inhalation.
Their usage is limited because they cannot measure other parameters, so they are incapable of diagnosing complex diseases.
Turbine flow meters contain turbine rotors and measures airflow by their spin speed. The speed is proportional to the velocity of the air.
Their flow resistance is higher which is suboptimal to children, elderly and sick patients. Operation costs are significantly higher because the turbine has to be replaced.