A wearable lung monitoring harness for patients at risk for respiratory diseases
Left: front view of harness, Right: back view of harness
So far, 1 in 30 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The pandemic has revealed many shortcomings in the current healthcare system, but it is also transforming how we practice medicine and manage patient care. A notable example of this is within the realm of physical exams. Currently, the use of a stethoscope is the first step in clinical evaluation of patients’ lungs. Due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, it is dangerous for physicians to come in close contact with patients to examine their lungs. To address this problem, accelerometer contact microphone sensors that can record and detect lung sounds are being developed. However, physicians still need to tape the sensors to the patients’ body, and the remote aspect is yet to be achieved. Our wearable device allows for physicians to remotely listen to and record a patient’s lung sounds to detect and monitor any progression of COVID-19, limiting dangerous in person interaction that could put healthcare workers at risk, and allowing patients to stay in the comfort and safety of their own home. We have designed our device to allow for customizable placement of multiple sensors and adjustable fitting of the device to allow for use on patients of all shapes and sizes. We have validated our device by confirming that the recorded lung sounds are cleaner and more uniform compared to the current standard of placing the sensors via tape. Until now, individual remote lung monitoring was not a possibility, forcing at-risk patients to visit the hospital where they can become infected or infect others. With the proposal of MonitAir, patients can safely have their lungs monitored from their own home.