Back in 2012, researchers from the University of Washington (UW) introduced a new tool - SpiroSmart for those suffering from respiratory problems in the form of a smartphone app that measures lung health. While this may have improved access to care for many, it didn't mean a great deal to those without a smartphone. The team is now looking to expand the reach of its technology by designing a system that allows patients to call in from anywhere in the world, from any phone, to gauge the health of their lungs.
Chronic lung conditions like asthma or COPD can require careful monitoring, often involving regular visits to the clinic. This mightn't be too problematic if you live in a big, modern city, but in developing countries a trip to the doctor can mean hours or even days on the road.
The idea is that users of the SpiroCall service call a 1-800 number from anywhere in the world and perform a hard exhale, just as they would when using a commercial spirometer. The audio is collected and relayed to a server, where the team's algorithms translate the breath into a reading of the patient's lung function.
2016 Press Release Video: