While you may express your profound love for your smartphone by sighing at it, the latest technology envisions a future where you can determine the health and wellbeing of your lungs by breathing at the smartphone.
The researchers from the University of Washington have been working in collaboration with the Seattle Children’s Hospital to develop a new technology to determine how healthy your lungs are. The aim of the project is to provide access to the core health facilities from the Metropolitan New York to the far fledged villages in India.
Medical establishments and private practitioners use a device called spirometer to measure the volume of air breathed in and out. The findings could tip your doctor off about the worsening lung health, leading to the diagnosis of diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis, or cystic fibrosis, etc.
Spirometer measures the volume of the inhaled and exhaled air, indicating if the airway is clear or blocked, which can result in respirational difficulty.
The technology developed by the research group of the University of Washington employs the microphone of the smartphone to measure the volume of the exhaled air. The app, christened SpiroSmart, measures the amount of air breathed out by the user by recording the sound waves as the user exhales.
The system has been tested on iPhone 4S. The findings of the study indicate a high success ratio of the app, with the results of tests conducted by the app paralleling those of the home-based spirometry test.
The app was first developed in 2012, and now the findings are being presented at CHI 2016, the Computer-Human Interaction conference.
The team has developed a system called SpiroCall which can accurately measure the lung functioning of the user up to 6.2% of clinical spirometer test results. The patients afflicted with chronic lung diseases and hailing from rural areas have limited access to a smartphone and no way to get through to a doctor in time. In such cases, SpiroCall can very well be a lifesaver.
The lead researcher for SpiroCall, Shwetak Patel explained the working of the technology:
“We wanted to be able to measure lung function on any type of phone you might encounter around the world — smartphones, dumb phones, landlines and pay phones. With SpiroCall, you can call a 1-800 number, blow into the phone and use the telephone network to test your lung function.”
SpiroCall is quite a universal app, even the handsets as old as ten years old can perfectly integrate with the technology. The research team of SpiroCall explains the concept of this latest technology in the video below:
The SpiroCall team is now working on a system to send the findings of the SpiroCall to the medical specialists.