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South London researchers testing new lung function device

South London researchers are testing a new device that could help patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as part of an NIHR-funded study.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. November is COPD Awareness Month. The month aims to increase awareness about COPD, explore new approaches for preventing the disease, and emphasise the importance of early detection.

The Inspired Sinewave Technique: a novel technology for the diagnosis and assessment of COPD study aims to evaluate a new lung function device called the Inspired Sinewave Test (IST).

The IST device can assess various parameters of lung health through a simple, non-invasive test that involves normal continuous breathing for a few minutes. This device tests multiple aspects of lung function, including lung volume, blood flow, and gas distribution within the lung.

Researchers and clinicians from the King's College London Centre for Human and Applied Physiological Sciences and the King's College Hospital Department of Respiratory Medicine are working with Oxford University to conduct this study.

Dr Richard Bruce, Senior Lecturer in Cardiorespiratory Physiology at King's College London, who is Principal Investigator for the study, said:

"There is a great need for simple and non-invasive techniques to assess COPD to improve overall treatment, efficiency, care and patient outcomes. The IST is a novel lung function test that could potentially address this need. The test does not require complex equipment, and patients are asked to breathe normally into the mouthpiece."

These tests are being carried out in different groups, including young and elderly individuals without any health issues, current and former smokers, and individuals diagnosed with COPD at varying levels of severity. An objective of the study is to determine if the IST device can accurately identify any lung function problems while also predicting the severity of symptoms and overall health outcomes.

Data suggests that the IST device can detect differences in lung health among the volunteers.

The NIHR is the largest funder of health and care research in England.

NHS England London’s Respiratory Clinical Director Dr Irem Patel said:

“It is great to hear about the innovative work on the IST study, which could make a real difference to people's lives. We must continue to strengthen the line of sight from research to clinical care and from clinical care to the health of the public. I’m passionate about improving health outcomes for all and look forward to seeing the results of this research!”

More information about the IST study is available on the NIHR's website. You can also learn more about the project by contacting Dr Bruce directly via