Respia Asthma Management Wearable Upgrades Sufferers’ Quality Of Life

Spoiler alert, but if you suffer from asthma, by the end of this you will ask where can you get one? We’ll get there…


 

Asthma is nothing short of awful. If you or someone you love suffers from any level of asthma, you know how frightening it can be. One can live a normal life with asthma, but inhalers can never be too far away. Sufferers must monitor activities that cause flare-ups.

There is a better way to do it, as proposed by a 22-year old Katherine Kawecki. a student from the University of New South Wales. Kawecki designed a two-part wireless system for monitoring and managing asthma symptoms, called Respia.

The Respia system may not yet have FDA approval, but that hasn’t stopped the device from receiving attention. In fact, it just received the James Dyson award. The James Dyson Foundation encourages young people to innovate. We’ll explain more about the device in a minute, but first, more on asthma.

We’ll explain more about the device in a minute, but first, more on asthma.

Asthma

(Source: nhlbi.nih.gov)

(Source: nhlbi.nih.gov)

Asthma affects over 200-million people every day. Symptoms range from difficulty breathing to the risk of death. Some only suffer occasional flare-ups, brought on by allergies, nighttime or exercise.

For most, they can extinguish these symptoms with an inhaler blast. Others suffer symptoms so intense, they mandate hospitalization from time to time.

No matter where one lands on this spectrum, living with the prospect of breathing difficulty creates another issue: anxiety. Respia may help abate those fears.

Respia

(Source: jamesdysonaward.org)

(Source: jamesdysonaward.org)

The Respia system is two parts. There is a double-barreled inhaler for treating attacks, but also for preventing them.

Respia comes with a wearable device, which sits on the skin of the affected. That device measures the breathing of the asthma suffer, communicating with that person’s smartphone.

The overall goal of the system is to keep sufferers ahead of their systems. Once an asthma attack hits, recovery can take time, but if one can stay ahead of it, then life can be more normal.

Inhaler

(Source: jamesdysonaward.org)

(Source: jamesdysonaward.org)

The redesigned inhaler with Respia contains two medicines, a preventer, and a treatment.

The canisters with the medicine face downward, versus the usual upward position, found in other inhalers. This means you can use Respia without blocking your view.

The inhaler connects to the companion app in your smartphone via Bluetooth, reminding you when you need to use one or the other. The inhaler tracks usage of the device, recording them in the app, but also tells the user the number of doses left in each canister.

To charge the device, one places it in the charging dock.

Patch

(Source: jamesdysonaward.org)

(Source: jamesdysonaward.org)

As if the inhaler weren’t enough, the Respia system includes a wearable patch that measures one’s breathing. If there is any wheezing, it will notify the wearer, recommending a dose from the inhaler.

The sensitivity of this patch is so sensitive, it differentiates the pitch variances between wheezing and the human voice. Inside the patch are haptic feedback drivers, so the notification is immediate, tactile, and unmistakeable.

It’s also Bluetooth enabled, so the whole system forms a mini ecosystem, recording all aspects of one’s treatment. Users can check in to see up-to-the-moment data.

(Source: jamesdysonaward.org)

(Source: jamesdysonaward.org)

The goal is that the Respia system stays with the user for life. Over time the technology may improve, but the tracked data goes with the user.

Here’s the rub: This device is still in development, but Kawecki has a working prototype. At this time, she’s in the process of fundraising for production.

We will update you when we have more information, but to answer the question we told you that you would have… sorry, it’s not available for purchase yet.

Essential reading; a similar device also in development: Stay Ahead of Asthma Attacks With ADAMM Wearable

Meanwhile, you can watch this awesome video of the device: