Regular measurement in lung function changes through spirometry testing, is a vital part of monitoring cystic fibrosis symptoms. As this is test requires special equipment, a tool that can perform this test through a phone could bring spirometry to more patients.

Computer scientists and engineers at the University of Washington have developing SpiroCall, a tool that can measure lung function through a phone – any phone – including smartphones, flip-phones, landlines or payphones.

From the article in Scientific News Today:

A paper to be presented in May at the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI 2016 conference in San Jose, Calif., shows that SpiroCall’s results came within 6.2 percent of results from clinical spirometers used in hospitals and doctor’s offices, meaning it meets the medical community’s standards for accuracy.

“We wanted to be able to measure lung function on any type of phone you might encounter around the world — smartphones, dumb phones, landlines, pay phones,” said Shwetak Patel, Washington Research Foundation Endowed Professor of Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the UW. “With SpiroCall, you can call a 1-800 number, blow into the phone and use the telephone network to test your lung function.”

For the full research paper on SpiroCall, click here.

This technology will allow access to pulmonary function testing to people in the developing world who otherwise may have had no testing available to them or who had to travel long distances for testing. It will also help people worldwide whose illness or risk of cross-infection make home spirometry beneficial.

The video below describes the goals of SpiroCall and shows it in action.



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