(HealthDay News) — Developing a commercially viable and financially sound mobile program for lung screening is feasible, according to a study published online July 14 in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

James R. Headrick Jr., M.D., from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga, and colleagues present the results of a 12-month feasibility project of a mobile lung screening program to serve rural patients at risk. The prototype bus was delivered in January 2018 and underwent modification during two months; during this period, staff were trained.

The researchers found that during 2018, 548 low-dose lung screenings were performed at 104 sites. The mean patient age was 62 years, and patients had 41 mean pack-years of smoking. Five lung cancers were detected as well as a type B thymoma. The break-even analysis was exceeded by 28 percent. Using one year of actual data and four years of projected data, the five-year pro forma demonstrated a net present value of 1 million, 34.6 percent internal rate of return, and profitability index of 2.2; these values were all highly dependent on downstream revenue.

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“A mobile lung screening program can offer great value to those most at risk,” the authors write. “It also provides a great medium for educating the public on the benefits of lung screening that seem slow to disseminate.”

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