Spirometry Test is Underutilized in Ontario

According to recent article by Reuters, 18.2% of the Ontario population have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and this number is rising. The article continues by stating that in 2014 in Ontario 11.4 per cent of people over the age of 35 have COPD, which is a 3.3 per cent increase over the 2011 figure. The appropriate use of spirometry test can be used to diagnose respiratory issues in their early stages when many may not even be aware they have a problem. If respiratory issues are detected early they can be treated the costly use of unnecessary inhalers and visits to the hospital can be prevented.

Spirometry is a simple and cost effective test that can be used by doctors to test the function of the lungs and diagnose COPD. According to the Lung Association of Ontario, this underutilized test can be given to:

  1. those over 40 and smoke (or use to);
  2. those who cough regularly;
  3. those who experience shortness of breath or wheezing during mild exertion;
  4. those that get colds that last longer than others.

Telemed Diagnostic Management Inc. (TeleMED) can play a significant role in correcting this problem.  Through its Diagnostics for Doctors program, TeleMED empowers Family Physicians to prescribe and perform a spirometry test on a patient in one visit.  Physicians can now offer their patients the convenience of office diagnostic services, using the same technology that has been used in traditional community testing environments.

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“We empower the physician and give them control over the quality of the care delivered to their patients in the comfort of their own office”, says Asa Lebel, TeleMED’s President.  “The growing cost of healthcare has created a demand for delivering high quality services in point of care and near-patient settings wherever possible.  Diagnostics for Doctors has made it possible for physicians to access advanced technology at a very affordable cost and obtain the results within 24 hours.  Testing is done in an environment that is familiar, accessible and convenient for patients.  Both physicians and patients benefit from the reduction in follow-up paperwork, calls and visits.”