Over the past month, two new devices for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been in the news-- one very high tech, and the other very low tech.

Philips eCareCompanion

The eCareCompanion is a new high tech wearable health-tracker developed by Philips Healthcare, a company that makes some of our most popular nebulizers. The eCareCompanion records a patient’s physical activity and inactivity, respiratory function, heart rhythm, and heart rate. This data is then sent to a cloud based system that both the patient and doctor can access.

According to Philips Healthcare CEO Jeroen Tas, “Instead of people just going to the hospital when things have deteriorated… [the information] is coming in way ahead.”

The eCareCompanion should lead to better healthcare for COPD patients, and give doctors a better understanding of how the disease works.

Lung Flute

The Lung Flute is a simple low tech device which, according to a new study, significantly improves the symptoms of COPD. To use the Lung Flute, patients blow into it like a musical instrument. The sound waves produced by the flute will then break up chunks of mucus in the patient’s lungs.

The study looked at 69 COPD patients over the course of six month. “This study confirms that the Lung Flute improves symptoms and health status in COPD patients, decreasing the impact of the disease… and improving their quality of life,” said Dr. Sanjay Sethi, principal author on the study.

The Lung Flute is FDA approved and requires a prescription. It retails for $45.