Every day it seems we write about how technology enhances our lives in every way. Unless you’re living in a forest somewhere deep in the woods, chances are, technology affects your life in more ways than you may realize. One aspect of that which I don’t think we write about enough is what happens at the intersection of technology and health. Experts say that soon (as early as the next generation) it won’t be unusual to live to be 150 years old, and much of that is thanks to technology. Today I would like to share a sophisticated yet simple smartphone app that allows doctors and patients to monitor lung health. It’s pretty incredible.
I first read about this a few months ago on the University of Washington website. Just last week this information was presented at the ACM’s Dev 2013 conference in Bangalore, and it is featured on MIT‘s technology website today. The bottom line is, people who have lung health problems have typically had to go into their doctor’s office frequently to blow into a big, fancy piece of equipment which relays the information to the doctor about the state of that person’s lungs.
Now, with a new app called SpiroSmart, people don’t have to go into the doctor’s office to check their lungs. They can just exhale into their smartphones. The information is accurate enough for a doctor to be able to derive real data, and this is all from a smartphone. The app works by estimating the volume of air exhaled by the sound waves recorded as the person breaths out (and onto the smartphone). It’s basically a home lung test, in the form of an app, which measures lung health. It’s effective enough to be used (and is being used) by pulmonologists to diagnose lung ailments. This is just another fascinating way in which our smartphones can help us live longer lives. Who knows…maybe in a decade, our smartphones will be able to administer CPR too. Hey, you never know!