Mobile multifunctional tool for monitoring and management of respiratory diseases

Period of Performance: 04/16/2014 - 04/15/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TF Health Corporation
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Mobile multifunctional tool for monitoring and management of respiratory diseases Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma affect millions of people worldwide. Because there is no permanent cure for these diseases, efficient management of the patients over their entire lifetime are needed, which becomes increasingly difficult with the rapid rise in the cost of health. New mobile health technologies, such as personal devices that allow patients to monitor their diseases under or near free-living conditions, will lower the cost, and thus contribute to the solution of the proble. Furthermore, continuous monitoring of the patients'health status afforded by the mobile devices will provide more complete information than the sporadic medical exams carried out currently in hospital or clinical settings. The most effective diagnosis and management technologies for COPD and asthma are spirometry and capnography. However, traditional low-cost spirometers are relatively inaccurate and lack of gas exchange information, and the capnography equipment is bulky, expensive, and difficult-to-operate without close supervision of professionals. These factors have limited spirometry and capnography to the use in hospital or clinic setting only. The present project aims at developing a personal device that can perform both capnography and spirometry for patients to use outside of hospitals and clinics. Creating such a device has been technically challenging, but the present project will be built upon several innovations by the PIs, including 1) a nanocomposite sensing material for accurate breath-by-breath analysis of carbon dioxide concentrations, 2) a low cost and high performance acoustic flow sensor that covers a wide dynamic range for both low flow-rate capnography and high flow-rate spirometry, 3) an adaptive sampling algorithm for correctly collecting the patient's breath without the presence of professionals, and 4) a user-friendly cell phone application for signal processing, data display and storage, and communications. This project combines the strengths of the sensor development and device fabrication capabilities of TF Health Co (doing business as Breezing Co.), bioanalytical team at ASU, and the medical expertise in research and clinical practice of VA Medical Center to develop and validate a multifunctional tool for personal monitoring of lung functions. The teams have worked together and carried out substantial experiments, which have prepared them to overcome technical challenges and reach the final goal.