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VA TeleSpirometry: Dedicated to Veterans’ Lung Health

Health Care Professional with a patient performing Spirometry test

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 16 million people in the U.S. have COPD, also known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, and COPD is more than twice as common in rural areas. Many of VA’s advances in telehealth are dedicated to caring for Veterans’ lungs, including one important new initiative called TeleSpirometry.

Spirometry is a lung function exam that is needed to confirm a diagnosis of COPD and many other lung conditions. But many Veterans, particularly those living in rural communities, do not or cannot make the long trip to a VA medical center to do their spirometry test.

TeleSpirometry is available at VA clinics instead. The asynchronous telehealth technology stores Veterans’ lung function results and then forwards the information to a VA pulmonologist for review. Expansion efforts are currently underway to equip more than 400 VA clinics with TeleSpirometry.

The PACT Act adds to VA’s list of conditions that are presumed to be caused by exposures to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. More than a dozen lung-related conditions are on the list. Quick and easy access to lung function testing is critical for newly enrolled Veterans and for the thousands of Veterans who experience breathing difficulties each year. TeleSpirometry promises to increase Veterans’ access to the lung function testing they need.

Read more on VA News.