Koronis Biomedical Technologies Corporation (KBT) proposes to develop a spirometer device targeted toward home-based monitoring of asthma patients. Spirometry has well established advantages over peak flow meters for the monitoring of pulmonary function in asthma patients, yet current spirometer solutions are not optimized for home monitoring applications. They require expensive calibrated components to provide accurate results due unwanted sensitivities to manufacturing variations in their air-flow sensing sensors and to manufacturing variations in spirometer mouthpieces. This calibration requirement has dramatic implications for potential home users, including significant maintenance burdens and complicated usage requirements. Ultrasonic air-flow technology is not susceptible to these limitations because unlike current technology, which infers air-flow from pressure sensors, ultrasonic techniques directly measure air-flow rates. In this project KBT will develop a low- maintenance easy-to-use ultrasonic spirometer for the home management market. The device will feature an integrated Bluetooth wireless interface to enable the convenient transmission of spirometer test results to Internet connected devices for transmission to medical doctors and respiratory therapists, or to personal health services like Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault. The objective of this phase I project is to build and test a prototype ultrasonic spirometer and develop a smartphone application to track the results and transfer them to a Google Health. The utility of the system will be determined via spirometric accuracy tests and an end-user study conducted with medical doctors and respiratory therapists with expertise in asthma monitoring and home management of patients.
Recent advances in sensor technology enable the development of a spirometer optimized for in-home monitoring. The introduction of ultrasonic flow metering allows the creation of a low-maintenance easy-to-use spirometer. This innovation will dramatically lower the cost per test and will have the immediate impact of introducing diagnostic spirometry for in-home monitoring to asthma and other patients. This advanced spirometer will leverage wireless communication technology to enable the development of a zero-skill spirometer optimized for home monitoring applications.