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.
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