Researchers from the University of Surrey have used 3D printers to create the world’s most sensitive spirometer and it could potentially help diagnose and treat asthma more effectively. Dubbed the “Sneezeometer,” this fist-sized device is currently being tested and explored for potential diagnostic use. This discovery is welcome news to seniors with respiratory diseases and their Altamonte Springs caregivers.
The World’s Most Sensitive Spirometer
A spirometer is a device used to measure lung capacity. They enable physicians to assess lung capacity prior to surgery, measure the effects of certain chemicals on breathing ability, and diagnose various respiratory conditions such as asthma. However, spirometers are bulky, expensive, and not sensitive enough for more delicate diagnostic purposes.
The new Sneezeometer is small and lightweight, but also relatively inexpensive to produce, with many of the internal workings being created during the 3D printing process. Its name comes from the discovery that it is sensitive enough to register the speed of a sneeze, making it incredibly useful for diagnosing respiratory issues.
Detecting and Treating Asthma
The sensitivity of the Sneezeometer means that it can sense tiny fluctuations in a subject’s breathing that might go undetected by other spirometers. These tiny fluctuations can be symptoms of a respiratory disease, meaning the Sneezeometer could help detect asthma and other conditions much sooner than usual.
Asthma causes nearly nine deaths per day in the U.S. alone and costs $56 million per year to treat. Should the Sneezeometer perform well in trials, it could help detect asthma earlier and more accurately, as well as drive down the cost of certain medical tests. Clinical trials are currently underway at King’s College London. If the tests go well, the Sneezeometer could be available to physicians by 2018.
Asthma is a respiratory disease that can pose serious challenges for seniors. Should your loved one receive an asthma diagnosis, turn to Altamonte Springs Home Care Assistance for help. As a leading provider of at-home care, we take pride in helping seniors manage various disease and injuries in the comfort of home. In addition to helping seniors manage illnesses, we also help take care of duties around the house including housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation. Schedule a free in-home consultation when you call (407) 232-7155 today.