Philips’ VitaBreath is the first handheld intermittent pressure support device available to COPD patients to help relieve their shortness of breath

Portable, non-pharmaceutical intermittent PAP device complements existing COPD therapies, giving patients the confidence to live active lives

October 15, 2015

London, UK – Philips Respironics, a business of Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG AEX: PHIA), today introduced VitaBreath, a new, intermittent portable positive airway pressure (PAP) device that uses only ambient air to give COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) sufferers relief from activity related shortness of breath in less than two minutes. Available first to clinicians in the UK, followed by Australia and India later this year, VitaBreath can help reduce breathlessness recovery time by up to 40 percent[1], enabling COPD patients to gain the confidence to live fuller, more active lives.


In the UK alone, approximately 30,000 people die from COPD every year. Roughly one million have been diagnosed, while another two million go undiagnosed, according to the British Lung Foundation. Many COPD patients restrict their activities dramatically because they are worried about experiencing shortness of breath. Some COPD patients become breathless so quickly that they struggle to complete daily activities such as climbing the stairs or leaving their homes.


Breathlessness is a distressing symptom of COPD which persists in many patients despite treatment with long acting bronchodilators.[2] “Patients who regularly experience episodes of dyspnoea need immediate relief and can’t wait several minutes for a medication to take effect,” said Dr Robert Angus, consultant in respiratory medicine at Aintree University Hospital. “VitaBreath is a new approach with early research showing that it can improve recovery times for people suffering with dyspnoea. VitaBreath is a genuinely exciting clinical proposition—one that I believe has the potential for becoming a standard-of-care in the future.”


VitaBreath: Breathlessness peace of mind effective, portable and easy to use

VitaBreath complements the current standard of COPD care and can be used in parallel with existing therapies or medications. Because VitaBreath is non-pharmaceutical, COPD patients experiencing activity related shortness of breath can use it as often as they need. VitaBreath provides 10 cmH2O pressure support to reduce the work of breathing for patients and keep their airways open during exhalation. Clinical testing conducted by Philips demonstrated that patients recovered more quickly using VitaBreath than with existing medications and therapies alone[3]. VitaBreath can be used by patients both in and outside the home, and can also be a useful support tool during pulmonary rehabilitation sessions.


For COPD patients struggling with breathlessness, VitaBreath:


  • Delivers intermittent Bi-level PAP therapy, reducing the work of breathing during inhalation and helping to keep patients’ airways open during exhalation;
  • Is a portable, easy-to-use device that weighs about 0.5 kilograms and is about the size of a 500 ml water bottle. It can easily fit in a handbag or a jacket pocket;
  • Has a rechargeable lithium ion battery providing up to three days of use, allowing patients to be confident that if they get short of breath during physical exertion, they have easy access to quick relief.


“VitaBreath is the only device of its kind today, and further reinforces our commitment to providing physicians with healthcare innovations that improve the quality of life of their patients,” said Neil Mesher, Managing Director, Philips Healthcare UK & I. “With VitaBreath, clinicians will be armed with an effective tool to augment and enhance existing treatments, and COPD sufferers can now spend time at home doing daily activities, or out enjoying life with friends and family, without worry.”


To learn more about VitaBreath, visit For more information about Philips’ portfolio of connected sleep and respiratory care solutions, follow @PhilipsHealthUK.

[1] Hardy, W. & Jasko, J - Clinical Research Philips Respironics, Evaluation of a portable positive pressure device to relive dyspnea during exercise in COPD patients, 2015

[2] Dransfield MT, et al. Prim Care Respir J. 2011;20:46–53

[3] Hardy, W. & Jasko, J - Clinical Research Philips Respironics, Evaluation of a portable positive pressure device to relive dyspnea during exercise in COPD patients, 2015

For further information, please contact:

Alicia Cafardi




Barbara Neate

Philips UK

(+44) 1483-293-071



About Royal Philips:

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 106,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at