Experimental vest monitors lung function: problem areas are visible without x-rays

Normally, lung function in patients with respiratory disease is monitored with a stethoscope during

the time of the doctor's visit. However, a new experimental vest can control breathing throughout the day.

The wearable device, known as the Pneumo Vest,is being developed as part of the M³ Infekt project, which involves 10 departments of the German research group Fraunhofer. Right now, the technology is intended primarily for patients with COVID-19, although it can also be used to treat other respiratory conditions.

Special software records and analyzes all sensor readings, and then creates an image of the lungs, on which problem areas are highlighted. Image: Fraunhofer

Built into the front and back of the vestseveral piezoceramic acoustic sensors that individually detect even the most subtle lung noises. Since the location of each sensor (relative to the lungs) is already known, it is possible to determine where each noise is coming from.

Special software records andanalyzes all the readings of the sensors, and then creates an image of the lungs, on which problem areas are highlighted. The data can be viewed on a connected mobile device and even accessed remotely via a secure server on the internet. The doctor can observe, being at home, for a long period of time.

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