TeleSpiro: A low-cost mobile spirometer for resource-limited settings
Carspecken CW., Arteta C., Clifford GD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disabling combination of emphysema and chronic bronchitis, relies on spirometric lung function measurements for clinical diagnosis and treatment. Because spirometers are unavailable in most of the developing world, this project developed a low cost point of care spirometer prototype for the mobile phone called the "TeleSpiro." The key contributions of this work are the design of a novel repeat-use, sterilisable, low cost, phone-powered prototype meeting developing world user requirements. A differential pressure sensor, dual humidity/pressure sensor, microcontroller and USB hardware were mounted on a printed circuit board for measurement of air flow in a custom machine-lathed respiratory air flow tube. The embedded circuit electronics were programmed to transmit data to and receive power directly from either a computer or Android smartphone without the use of batteries. Software was written to filter and extract respiratory cycles from the digitised data. Differential pressure signals from Telespiro showed robust, reproducible responses to the delivery of physiologic lung volumes. The designed device satisfied the stringent design criteria of resource-limited settings and makes substantial inroads in providing evidence-based chronic respiratory disease management. © 2013 IEEE.