SpiroSmart: Health App

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A group at the University of Washington, in collaboration with Seattle Children’s Hospital, is developing a way to check how healthy your lungs are when you breathe out at your smartphone.

For patients with conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, or cystic fibrosis doctors sound out their pipes using a spirometer, a device that measures volumes of air breathed in and out.

The exhaled volume indicates if the patient’s air passages are clogged and leading to difficulty breathing.

A group at Shwetak Patel’s lab at the University of Washington figured out how to measure exhaled breaths using the microphone on a smartphone.

The SpiroSmart app estimates the volume of air exhaled by the sound waves recorded as you breathe out.

The goal was to create a home lung health test, like a pocket glucose meter, Patel explained in a press release.

In experiments with the iPhone 4S, the system seemed reliable and comparable to home spirometry tests.

The group presented that at the UbiComp 2012 conference in September last year.

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