SmartVest for Mucus Clearance Reduces Bronchiectasis-related Exacerbations, According to Study

SmartVest for Mucus Clearance Reduces Bronchiectasis-related Exacerbations, According to Study

Treatment with Electromed’s SmartVest Airway Clearance System significantly reduces bronchiectasis-related exacerbations, decreasing the need for antibiotics to treat respiratory infections, according to a recent study.

The findings were recently presented at the World Bronchiectasis Conference held July 6-8 in Milan, Italy, in a poster presentation titled “Incidence of Bronchiectasis Related Exacerbation Rates after Long-Term Treatment with High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation (HFCWO).”

The SmartVest system uses high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO), a method that delivers compression pulses to the chest wall within a range of frequencies. By producing an alternating pulse that rapidly compresses and releases the chest wall, this device promotes the release of mucus from the lungs’ walls, clearing the airways and easing the elimination of mucus from the body.

By helping to clear the lungs of excess secretions, the SmartVest reduces the risk of respiratory infections and hospitalizations.

In the study, researchers compared bronchiectasis-related exacerbation rates before and after HFCWO use.

The analysis showed that consistent use of the SmartVest Airway Clearance System leads to a significant improvement in exacerbation rates in people with bronchiectasis. This in turn reduces the need for antibiotic treatment and subsequent related healthcare costs.

“The significant reduction in bronchiectasis-related exacerbations demonstrates the considerable potential of HFCWO, which is the therapy delivered by our SmartVest system, in this population,” Kathleen Skarvan, Electromed’s president and CEO, said in a news release.

“These results support previously published evidence that consistently using the SmartVest system can reduce the number of hospitalizations and save significant healthcare costs,” Skarvan added.

Earlier this year, a study sponsored by Electromed showed that using the SmartVest can reduce healthcare use and costs for patients with bronchiectasis — with savings as high as $3,045 per year of use. Results also showed that SmartVest use was associated with an annual 60 percent reduction in hospitalizations, 63 percent reduction in emergency visits, and a 58 percent reduction in antibiotics use.

Bronchiectasis is a condition marked by progressive, irreversible inflammation and expansion of the lungs’ alveoli (the little sacs that make up the lungs and where respiratory gases are exchanged), leading to airway obstruction and faulty mucociliary clearance. This disease is frequently associated with recurrent respiratory tract infections, a decline in lung function, chronic inflammation, increased hospitalizations, increased antibiotic/steroid use, and increased morbidity and mortality.


  1. Jon O says:

    I have used a device called the Vest I don’t think it really helps me at all but since I have it i use it anyway
    I could not recommend it as the Vest part of it is poorly made and the hoses pop off all the time poorly designed causes invest the machine itself is fine whether it works or not I really don’t know cause I used it and I have a lot of issues it doesn’t hurt and if you’re insurance pays for it I would say get one of them but not this brand name not

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Hi Jon… there are definitely different levels of vest of varying quality. We hope that you do see a little improvement with the use of it.

  2. I have religiously used the Hill-Rom vest for several years. Recently I began using 3% saline via nebulizer twice a day. The saline treatment far surpasses the vest in clearing my lungs of mucus. At first I used both simultaneously. Recently, I began just using the saline. It works just fine without use of the vest and is truly a godsend!

  3. Richard Gardiner, MD says:

    A correction:
    “. . . the lungs’ bronchi (the little sacs that make up the lungs and where respiratory gases are exchanged)”

    This phrase from the article is incorrect. Bronchi are the tubules, the passageways that transport air to and from the alveoli. Alveoli are the
    little sacs located deep in the lungs at the end of these passageways called bronchi. Gases are exchanged (oxygen transported into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide removed from the bloodstream) through the walls of these alveoli.

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