App lets you monitor lung health on a smartphone

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A new device could allow people to monitor their lung function at home by simply blowing into their smartphone.

A paper presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Conference this month showed that results from the app came within 5% of existing commercial spirometers used to monitor lung function.

 

The researchers, from the University of Washington, use the microphone on the smartphone to detect sound waves. They found that if they could model a person’s trachea and vocal tract as a system of tubes, they could analyse how the breath is travelling through these tubes.

A few similar devices measuring lung function already exist for smart phones butnone of these devices are available yet or medically certified. The next stage for the inventors of the new device will be to begin clinical testing with patients of varying ages and lung health to check the validity of the product.

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