Respiratory-focused eHealth company Respiri (ASX: RSH) has filed an additional patent application based on recent improvements made to the algorithm for its wheezo asthma management device.
The new intellectual property relates principally to a method of processing the recordings of a patient’s breathing patterns to detect a wheeze.
An analysis algorithm processes the sound signal and marks any period containing a pitch which is characteristic of a wheeze via the trachea.
The algorithm concurrently eliminates background noise to deliver an improved level of detection and a standardised, reproducible measure of wheeze.
Using the current gold standard ACQ5 (asthma control questionnaire 5), wheeze is one of the symptoms subjectively assessed by physicians based on patient recall and self-assessment.
Many independent epidemiological studies indicate self-assessment to be “less than ideal” in building an accurate patient profile.
The ACQ5 approach has been used by the medical industry in the absence of an alternative tool to allow for an objective assessment of a patient’s respiratory condition.
Respiri said wheezo aims to put asthma management back into the hands of a patient and give reassurance and peace of mind to parents and caregivers.
Respiri chief executive officer Marjan Mikel said the algorithm changes were necessary to refining the wheezo technology.
“The significant improvement in the sensitivity and specificity of our device shown in recent clinical trials highlights the important enhancements made to our algorithm, which we believe confers a distinct commercial advantage worthy of additional patent protection,” he said.
“This is the first asthma management device to show such a high correlation to the stethoscope measurement of wheeze via the chest or back, which is the gold standard used by doctors to assess patients in the clinic.”
Mr Mikel said protecting Respiri’s commercial advantage was of “paramount importance” as the company moves towards an Australian launch before year end, followed by launches in the US, UK and Europe by 2023.
Manufacturing of the first batch of 3,000 wheezo devices commenced during the September quarter under an exclusive agreement with pharmaceutical company Cipla Australia.
Cipla delivered 500 units earlier this month, with 1,000 due before month end.
A further delivery is scheduled for early January.
Mr Mikel said Respiri holds sufficient inventory to ensure demand generated for wheezo by Cipla’s sales force in Australian pharmacy circles can be met in the interim.
“For asthma patients, this represents an exciting development in gaining access to our device which has been shown to effectively detect and monitor asthma wheeze and better inform patients, caregivers and treating clinicians on the management of their condition,” he said.
“Pharmacist support and education will be key in ensuring patients are well informed about how wheezo can help bring their physician-developed asthma management plans to life in the real world.”