Texas-based International Biophysics recently received two new U.S. patents for its AffloVest High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation (HFCWO) vest, a type of mobile airway clearance therapy for severe respiratory diseases like bronchiectasis.
The patents were issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One, issued Feb. 20, is titled “Kit for Clearing a Biological Airway Including a Self-Contained Portable Positionable Oscillating Motor Array” (9,895,287), and the other, issued March 6, is “Self-Contained Portable Positionable Oscillating Motor Array System” (9,907,725).
“The issue of these two patents reaffirms our leadership in the introduction of innovative, effective treatment therapies. We pioneered mechanical oscillation airway clearance therapy for patients with severe respiratory diseases such as bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, neuromuscular diseases, and other respiratory conditions,” H. David Shockley, International Biophysics’ founder and CEO, said in a press release.
HFCWO is an airway clearance technique that applies oscillations to the chest wall using an inflatable vest that wraps around the chest. These vests produce vibrations at variable frequencies and intensities, helping to loosen and thin mucus while separating it from airway walls.
The AffloVest is battery-operated and uses a type of technology called Direct Dynamic Oscillation that mimics hand Chest Physical Therapy, considered the gold standard in mobilizing and clearing lung secretions.
It allows for full freedom of movement during treatment, and the vest features eight built-in oscillating modules that are anatomically positioned to target the lobes of the lung.
“We believe that our mechanical oscillation technology offers patients a more modern and patient friendly airway clearance therapy than the older style air bladder technology. We anticipate several more patents on our technology in the coming months,” Shockley said.
A series of studies have tested the various HFCWO devices available, and found that HFCWO improved both pulmonary function and quality of life in bronchiectasis patients needing daily airway clearance.
Most devices on the market use air bladder technology, which requires a connection to an external generator to deliver the air pulses that squeeze and release the chest. The AffloVest is battery-powered and doesn’t require a generator, making it more portable.
AffloVest is approved in the U.S., as well as in the European Union, Canada, and Australia.