Specialist commentator comments

Comments on this technology were invited from clinical specialists working in the field and relevant patient organisations. The comments received are individual opinions and do not represent NICE's view.

Four specialists were familiar with PulmoVista 500, 2 had used this technology before.

Level of innovation

Three specialists felt the technology is a novel concept, 2 commented that the technique of electrical impedance tomography (EIT) has been available for a long time, 1 considered the technology similar to other EIT devices. One was not aware of any comparators and another felt the technology bridged a gap in current standard of care imaging.

Potential patient impact

Three specialists believed the technology could help inform the optimal settings for mechanical ventilation but 2 commented that more evidence is needed in this area. Two commented that the technology allows for non-invasive monitoring of a section of the lungs. One felt it would be useful to support endobronchial intubation and 1 expert felt this technology would be useful in people with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Another expert felt it would be most useful for people at risk of atelectasis or ventilator-induced lung injury; 1 believed it would be useful to wean people off mechanical ventilation. Three commented that the technology could reduce ventilator-induced lung injury, 1 also believed it could prevent lung collapse.

Potential system impact

Three specialists believed the technology would cost more than standard care; 1 specialist believed the cost was similar to current imaging costs. Two believed the technology could result in downstream savings but the potential is not well established. All feel that increased training in using the device and interpreting the results would be needed. One specialist raised a safety concern that using the same belt between patients could increase risk of infection.

General comments

Two specialists commented that fitting the device would be challenging, another commented that the device could complicate repositioning patients because electrodes could lose contact. Two raised concerns about the purpose of the technology, 1 raised concerns about the training needed to use the technology and 3 believed the cost could stop adoption. All specialists felt further evidence was necessary.