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Airflow

Airflow, a portable, more efficient and user-friendly spirometer to boost lung therapy and rehabilitation.

What it does

It provides a more progressive, controlled and efficient lung therapy by also connecting the patient and the doctor to an all new app which visualises all of the data in a user friendly way to keep the patient motivated and active.


Your inspiration

A family member of one of us, has recently suffered from Atelectasis, the partial or complete collapse of a lung or a portion of a lung. It is the most occurring postoperative complication after cardiac surgeries. The classic Incentive Spirometer, aimed at reducing atelectasis on patients, is currently in disuse in hospitals like the Clinic in Barcelona, due to the lack of scientific evidence and motivation. This results in the decrease of its use and of rehabilitation, a key step for the patient to fully recover the potential of their lungs. Having this case in our hands, we have decided to develop a solution to this problem.


How it works

The aim of a spirometer is to help the user recover the potential of their lungs by doing lung therapy. Airflow, thanks to a propeller and an IR sensor, measures the volume and flow of the air that is inhaled into the tube by the user and sends all of the collected data to the Airflow App. Here, this data is visualised in a user-friendly way to both the patient and the doctor, to be able to do further diagnosis of the progress and keep the patient motivated. Thanks to the modular design of Airflow, the internal components can be switched to make the exercise harder or easier for the patient, thus, achieving a progressive therapy of the lungs dedicated to each patient individually by the supervision of the doctor. The app also allows users to connect between themselves and to contact the doctor. The electronics of Airflow are located in the bottom part, inside a sealed capsule that can be easily taken off to clean and re-use the product.


Design process

Having identified this major problem, we have embarked in a design process by interviewing experts and hospital personnel to clearly identify the problem that poses the lack os use of the incentive spirometer and the issues related to not completing a correct lung therapy. We have also analysed the current market to make sure what is needed and what exists to detect opportunities that may guide us through the ideation phase. In this case, we identified the opportunity of designing and new spirometer that would spark motivation in the user by making it modular with different levels of difficulty that allows the doctor to have a progressive control of the therapy. During the concept creation, we came up with concepts and then tested their physical viability to finally come up with Airflow. The tests where mostly 3D printed geometries and different kind of propellers and pipes until we figured out which was the best combination to achieve our result. Finally we fully defined the product through 3D modelling (defining the connections and all of the components) and visualisation together with developing the full prototype of the app that connects the user and the doctor with the spirometer itself.


How it is different

Our design stands out for its innovative approach as a comprehensive solution. Unlike traditional spirometers, our product addresses key challenges in the industry. One of our primary focuses was to create a reusable spirometer, as the current practice of discarding them after each use contributes to waste. By making our spirometer reusable and easy to clean, we extend its lifespan and promote sustainability. Motivation was another critical aspect we addressed. We introduced different levels of difficulty, allowing patients to start at an easier level and progressively work their way up guided by their doctors, who have a remote access to the patient's information and progress charts. This sense of accomplishment keeps patients engaged and motivated throughout their therapy, being able to perform it anywhere. Our accompanying app adds a fun and interactive element, visually tracking progress and making the training experience more engaging.


Future plans

Our group is excited to collaborate with Dyson to introduce their innovative product into hospitals. Our goal is to create a prototype, develop an app for user progress tracking, and present the idea to hospitals. We're confident in the project's success and dedicated to enhancing healthcare delivery. Partnering with Dyson allows us to make a mark in this new field. We're ready to face challenges and revolutionize the hospital world.


Awards

This project, to date, has been nominated to the Elisava Masters Awards 2023 with the outcome being published on July 26th 2023.


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