What is the difference between HFCWO and HFCC? HFCWO (high frequency chest wall oscillation) and HFCC (high frequency chest compression) are interchangeable terms that describe the same airway clearance therapy.
Is the SmartVest® Airway Clearance System only for patients with cystic fibrosis?
No, the SmartVest System by Electromed may be prescribed by a physician for anyone with a disease or condition where external chest manipulation is the physician’s treatment of choice to enhance coughing up of mucus. To date, HFCWO therapy has been prescribed by physicians for a wide range of diseases including:

  • Impaired mucociliary function such as cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia and immotile ciliary syndromes.
  • Neuromuscular diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and all types of muscular dystrophy.
  • Neuromotor disorders including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries.
  • Immunological impairment disorders such as primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDD) and acquired immunodeficiency disorders.
  • Spinal cord injury, quadriplegia, patients undergoing treatment for paralysis.
  • Post major surgery patients, post lung transplant patients, and acute or chronic ventilator patients.
  • Pulmonary conditions that cause mucus hypersecretion and/or impaired ability to cough or clear secretions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis, atelectasis, pulmonary fibrosis, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and any primary pulmonary anatomical anomalies.
Why is patient positioning not necessary as it is in manual chest physiotherapy (CPT)? The SmartVest System works through a different mechanism of action than conventional CPT and does not require complex Trendelenburg techniques to drain and clear secretions. The action of the SmartVest creates upward airflows that loosen and mobilize lung secretions and allows a choice of standing, sitting or lying down during treatment.
Can a nebulizer treatment be given at the same time as HFCWO? A nebulizer treatment can be given at the same time as the SmartVest System treatment; however, the patient should first verify with his or her physician.
What is the range of ages and sizes that can be treated with a SmartVest System? The SmartVest garment is available in eight different sizes and is designed to accommodate a wide range of patients, from small children to large adults, with chest circumferences ranging from 16 to 52 inches (41 to 132 cm). A vest extender is available to accommodate bariatric patients.
How do I determine the correct vest size? A patient’s height, weight and chest circumference are used to determine proper vest size. Please refer to the SmartVest Sizing Guide.
How can the patient/family be assured of the proper way to operate the SmartVest System? The patient and family will receive in-home training from an approved clinician (respiratory therapist, nurse or physical therapist).
How does the trainer secure an appointment? Electromed Patient Services staff will contact a trainer, who in turn will contact the patient to arrange a convenient training time.
Do you have trainers in my area? Who are they?
Electromed provides trainer names to clinics as requested. Please call 800.462.1045. Electromed currently has more than 300 approved trainers for the SmartVest System in the U.S.
Can I travel with my SmartVest System?
Yes, the SmartVest System includes a wheeled carrier that provides easy portability. The unit is classified as carry-on luggage and will fit into the overhead bin of most aircraft. Please check with your airline first. The SmartVest System must not be checked as regular luggage. Many airlines allow you to add medical devices to the carry-ons that are normally allowed. Please check with your airline first. We have found it helpful for patients to carry a copy of all prescriptions with them while travelling.
When traveling, are there any electrical converter challenges? The SmartVest System is distributed around the world and has a built-in power converter. Contact Electromed Patient Services to order a power cord for the countries you will be visiting.
How can parents monitor usage to ensure therapy adherence?
The SmartVest System has a built-in hour meter that records hours and minutes of usage. Please see the Instruction Manual for more information.
How can I acquire a SmartVest device? A physician must prescribe HFCWO therapy for your condition. You or your physician may then contact us directly at 800.462.1045 or 952.758.9299.
What are some of the advantages of the SmartVest System over other systems?
  • The unique single-hose design offers greater convenience and comfort, helping to ensure therapy adherence, which leads to better results.
  • The hose attachment is at the bottom of the garment, resulting in airflow that emulates a natural cough.
  • The active inflate-deflate open system allows the garment to contour to the chest cavity, resulting in greater comfort for the patient.
  • The generator has an easy-to-read display, allowing it to be visible from a standing-up or lying-down position.


What does the warranty cover?
In the U.S., SmartVest units for in-home care receive a lifetime warranty. Inpatient and international placements receive a three-year warranty. Call 800.462.1045 for more information.
Does Electromed support products purchased through third-party vendors or online (e.g., eBay®, Craigslist, etc.)?
The SmartVest System is available by prescription only. As directed by the US FDA, prescription devices cannot be legally transferred to another individual. Therefore, Electromed cannot accommodate requests for service, support, or accessories for products not purchased through Electromed or a contracted vendor.