There are 6.2 million adults in the US suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF). While CHF itself poses significant health risks, it often leads to comorbidities that further increase mortality rates. Two common comorbidities associated with CHF are pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the alveoli of the lungs, and pleural effusion, a buildup of fluid in the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs. Collectively, these comorbidities result in approximately 2.5 million cases per year stemming from CHF. Due to existing diagnostic techniques, like auscultations and chest X-rays, these conditions are typically diagnosed through in-person visits. Consequently, a substantial portion of CHF patients return to the hospital at least twice within the first year of diagnosis.
In response to this challenge, our device aims to provide an innovative solution that enables patients to remotely record and transmit vital lung health data directly to their healthcare providers. The BreathBuddy is designed to be a lightweight and comfortable vest that patients can wear at home without interrupting their daily lives. For just a few minutes a day, patients wear the vest and have their lung audio recorded, after which the data is automatically transmitted to their clinician. Intelligent software provides diagnostic tools like identification of abnormal lung sounds. With no current devices on the market made to remotely monitor these lung pathologies, the BreathBuddy will facilitate more convenient and prompt adjustments to patients’ care, while enhancing patient comfort and alleviating their strain on the healthcare system.