This wearable patch and smart inhaler rethink how you deal with asthma

Breathe easy - Respia is a fresh take on designing for asthma devices
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Asthma management is getting an overhaul. Respia is a wearable patch that acts as a sensitive piezoacoustics monitor to detect breathlessness via wheezing or respiration-related inflammation.

It's the work of 22 year-old University of New South Wales design graduate Katherine Kawecki and the system has just been named runner up in the James Dyson Award.

The patch is another example of a stick-on stethoscope like device, as we saw recently with a miniature stick-on that can listen to your heartbeat. Kawecki's device will give the user a haptic tap if it measures that you're started to have trouble breathing. It has a washable, silicon adhesive patch to stick to your chest and also picks up a flux in your inspiration/expiration ratio.

This wearable patch and smart inhaler rethink how you deal with asthma

Her system includes an app for reminders and a smart aerosol inhaler - preventer and reliever which connects to the phone via Bluetooth to track your medication use. It's all very slick and well thought through, there's also a bedside dock to recharge the inhaler and store the patch.

With 300 million asthma sufferers, Kawecki indicates that the next steps for her project are finding funding to turn her functioning 3D printed prototypes into a real product. "As an asthmatic myself, I wanted to create a better asthma management experience where the user can easily engage and better understand their condition," she posted in her submission.

"The wearable patch makes the user aware if their asthma symptoms are worsening throughout the day via acoustic sensing. This takes the mental strain and guess work away allowing for good asthma management."

Source: The James Dyson Foundation

This wearable patch and smart inhaler rethink how you deal with asthma

How we test


Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

Related stories