Dr. David Shih, co-founder of CityMD Urgent Care, talks about the newest nebulizer device called Flyp. It’s literally revolutionizing the way people treat asthma and COPD by putting treatment back into the hands of patients (an on-the-go, convenient treatment that is the size of an iPhone!).
Dr. David Shih is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician, Executive Vice President of Strategy Health & Innovation, and co-founder of CityMD. He is also the CEO and founder of a new CME company called Master Clinicians. Dr. Shih completed his residency training for Emergency Medicine at Long Jewish Medical Center and worked as an attending physician in Northwell’s emergency room at Huntington Hospital, serving both the adult and pediatric population. In 2010, he brought his expertise and compassionate care to CityMD serving as their first Chief Medical Officer until 2017. Dr. Shih has created CityMD’s Academy training services and their Aftercare services which are two key CityMD differentiators. In 2016, Dr. Shih helped achieve NCQA-PCCC Recognition for CityMD and, in 2017, UCAOA Accreditation for all sites. He is a thought leader in the urgent care industry and frequent guest speaker at conferences and events. He is also an investor and advisor for multiple new healthcare startup companies. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and member of the American Association of Physician Leaders (AAPL), Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) and American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). He received his undergraduate degree in BioChemistry from Binghamton University and his Medical Degree from SUNY Downstate.
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, glad you could join us today. Well it’s September and that means fall allergies at this time of year, especially dangerous for those who suffer from allergies and respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD. Our guest today is Dr. David Shih, co-founder of CityMD Urgent Care and he’s going to talk to us about this new nebulizer called Flyp®. Welcome to the program Doctor, how are you?
Dr David Shih: Thank you for having me.
Neal: Tell us about yourself and what do you practice?
Dr Shih: So I am a board-certified emergency medicine physician, currently in the urgent care Field. The practice is stationed mainly in the New York metropolitan area so we service millions of people over the years.
Neal: Now I said that we were going to talk about this new nebulizer. What is a nebulizer and who needs to use one of those things?
Dr Shih: So I think well that’s a great question. A nebulizer is a device that turns liquid medicine into a mist and it’s oftentimes very commonly used in conditions such as asthma and COPD or chronic obstructive lung disease. A nebulizer deliver the same type of medicine as a metered dose inhaler or called an MDI. The difference is that a nebulizer is a little bit more effective when the patient is struggling to breathe because it delivers a mist and just easier to breathe this in. Often times it is used in the acute care setting, in the emergency rooms, in urgent care setting as a way to get the patient back into normal breathing status.
Neal: So nebulizers have been around for a while. What is it about Flyp® that’s so remarkable?
Dr Shih: Flyp® is unique in that it is the smallest and lightest mobile nebulizer to be cleared by the FDA. It’s small enough to fit your pocket, it is about the size of your mobile phone and unlike the traditional nebulizers out there which are generally very bulky and stationary, Flyp® is small and mobile so this offers a lot of advantages. The main thing is that it’s fast, it’s efficient, it’s quiet, it’s unique that it’s easy to use. There’s three quick steps: fill, click, breathe. Essentially fill the cartridge with medication, you click the button and you breathe in the medicated nebulized mist that comes out of it. So it doesn’t require any additional masks or tubes that you’ll see in the traditional nebulizer and because it’s small, it’s powered by battery, don’t need to be plugged in and stationary like a traditional nebulizer. So this allows you the ability to go about your business, move about, it’s an on-the-go nebulizer, their charge is good for about ten treatments and each treatment lasts for about seven minutes. So I think because of its mobility, because of its size, it’s really changed a lot of people’s view about the treatment of asthma and COPD and all the respiratory diseases in certain situations.
Neal: Does it work as well with infants? A lot of infants need to use a nebulizer, is this something that can be used with with a baby?
Dr Shih: So currently Flyp® is approved for a thirteen years old and above and certainly the focus is also to provide Flyp® for the pediatric population. There’s just a lot more safety checklist that the smart people at Flyp® have to overcome and make sure the FDA approves but I’m very optimistic that Flyp® will be available to the pediatric population very soon.
Neal: Now we did talk about COPD and asthma but during the fall especially, there are people who suffer from allergies who may just need to use this very very sporadically and not something ongoing like say with asthma or COPD. You say the charge is good for about ten treatments, does it stay charged as long as it’s not being used?
Dr Shih: So it’s similar to any product that’s charged, it’s charged by a simple USB port and it has the battery life of 10 usage so if it’s not used, it’s good for 10 uses. Once the power levels are low, it just needs to be recharged so it’s very simple and easy to use like your phone.
Neal: And I guess it doesn’t matter what type of medicine that you use, it’s going to turn it into that mist if it’s that type of medication.
Dr Shih: Right. So nebulized treatment is fairly standard, it’s fairly normal and to kind of answer the questions we’ve talked about before, there’s a lot of patients, millions of people who suffer from allergies from the weather, from the fall because during the fall there’s a lot of environmental triggers, right. The cold air, the high pollen counts, ragweed, mold, mildew, the raking of the leaves sometimes can trigger a lot of allergies and if you are in a household with pets that go outdoors and then it comes back in, they can certainly bring some of these allergens back home. I think for the most part, patients can deal with allergies in a lot of different ways. They stay indoors when the pollen counts are high, if they know they suffer from allergies, having the air filter is very helpful or being on over-the-counter medication is very helpful. But there are people with allergy where it gets to a point where it starts affecting their breathing and it starts triggering asthma so having an on-the-go nebulizer like Flyp® is handy, it’s helpful and there are a lot of advantages on having this kind of freedom and to say that Flyp® can offer.
Neal: Is Flyp® easy to take apart and reassemble for for cleaning or maintenance by the by the person who’s using it?
Dr Shih: Yeah. I think when Flyp® was designed, the idea was that it needs to be easy, needs to be simple to use, it’s very easy to clean – that’s definite. The reason for that is because you improve compliance. So one of the things that has gotten providers and patients excited is that nebulizers are not new but when you have a nebulizer that’s easy to use, when you have a nebulizer that portable now potentially the compliance of medication is higher and asthma has always traditionally been one of those very tough chronic diseases that’s hard to manage and some of the reasons is due to non-compliance of medication. And asthma is also one of those disease processes that leads to higher increase in ER visit so when there’s a product like Flyp® that potentially could offer patients a safety net, offer patients the freedom to move about, there’s a good opportunity to lower these ER visits. It’s a good opportunity to improve compliance so there’s quite a lot of value when patients and providers when they see this product, the common question is “Hey, where do I get one of these things?”
Neal: Where can we go online and learn how to get our hands on one?
Dr Shih: So that there are two websites that you can look at. One is called flypnebulizer.com and the second one is justnebulizers.com
Neal: And Flyp® is spelled F-L-Y-P just to clarify.
Dr Shih: Correct.
Dr Shih: And justnebulizers.com with an S
Neal: justnebulizers.com with an S. Thank you for joining us today Dr. Shih, it’s been a pleasure.
Dr Shih: Thank you very much.
Neal: You’ve been listening the Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. Transcripts and audio of the program are available at hpr.fm and healthprofessionalradio.com.au. Be sure to visit our Affiliate Page page when you visit our platform at hpr.fm and healthprofessionalradio.com.au. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes Listen in and download at SoundCloud.