The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the ability to monitor respiration using a low-cost and non-contact sensing method. Studies show that real-time health monitoring devices will reach a market value of over $65 billion by 2022. Given the high prevalence of lifestyle-associated disorders, long-term continuous monitoring of physiological parameters becomes important for many healthcare cases such as apnea and for human-computer-interaction applications. The anticipated benefits of the technology in the current COVID-19 outbreak include, but are not limited to, helping to reduce the load of current (expensive and limited) respiration monitoring medical equipment, being deployable in open-spaces and being highly desirable for the drastically increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients. Further, since respiration monitoring is a ubiquitous element of medicine, this work may also impact the entire health care community, from patients in their homes, to doctor’s offices, to large medical institutions and industries.

This I-Corps project involves the technological advancement required to enable the proposed low-cost and non-contact respiration sensing method. This method represents a substantial departure from traditional approaches to wireless respiration monitoring and is poised to make significant contributions in this area. The proposed technology is timely given the critical worldwide impact of COVID-19. The proposed solution is adequately deployable in home environments (e.g. living rooms) and hospitals, etc. to remotely monitor respiration for COVID-19 screening and prognosis. The proposed approach allows very low-cost, safe, easy, continuous, and non-obtrusive gathering of respiration data — a critical input for cost-effective and proactive treatment and management of subjects with COVID-19 and other chronic respiratory conditions. This project will allow the team to better understand the unmet needs by conducting customer discoveries and interviews, develop a viable business model, and learn the desired features for developing a compelling minimum viable product.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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Oklahoma State University
United States
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