Skip to main content
International Runner Up

Respia Asthma Management System

Respia is an asthma management system that tracks and records the user's respiratory health and medication use. It is the complete redesign of existing aerosol inhalers coupled with a world first wearable patch that tracks respiratory health.

What it does

Respia is an asthma management system that tracks and records the user's respiratory health and medication use. It is the complete redesign of existing aerosol inhalers coupled with a world first wearable patch that tracks respiratory health.


Your inspiration

As an asthmatic myself, I wanted to create a better asthma management experience where the user can easily engage and better understand their condition. Asthma is the inflammation of the airways when exposed to environmental triggers or stress. It is often confusing, whilst suffering from mind clouding symptoms such as shortness of breath and panic, to know which medication to use and when to take it. An estimated 300 million people worldwide and rising suffer from asthma. Approximately 250,000 people die prematurely each year from asthma and almost all of these deaths are avoidable. Asthma is a silent disease and a silent pandemic.


How it works

The system consists of a bluetooth enabled smart inhaler, wearable device and docking station that communicate wirelessly with the Respia phone app.The Respia inhaler tracks medication use as well as combining preventer and reliever medications into one convenient inhaler.The LED matrix shines through the housing relaying information and the mouthpiece is a universal size that fits into every spacer chamber. The wearable device provides live haptic feedback and suggestions to help the user stick to their personal asthma plan. This adhesive patch sits on the skin similar to a stethoscope and monitors changes in the upper respiratory tract. The patch does this through piezoelectric sensing picking up wheeze frequencies, flux in inspiration/expiration ratio etc. The use of algorithms can distinguish between a wheeze and an external noise. The smart phone app prompts the user with suggestions and keeps the user informed of the quality of their asthma management.


Design process

My project research greatly steered the direction of my design solution. I had a set criteria of research findings to address and a specific project brief where the main goal was to achieve good asthma management. After interviewing asthma specialist doctors and asthmatics, I saw just how much value there was in redesigning the aerosol inhaler which hadn’t changed for decades. During the design phase, I went through many card models, foam models and 3d printed prototypes. I tested the shape, size and look of the inhaler. I needed to make sure the inhaler was comfortable for different hand sizes and the button/touch point placements were intuitive. Through rapid prototyping I tested the universal mouthpiece to ensure it was a good size, created a seal around the lips and could be used with a spacer unit. I 3D printed functioning prototypes to test the ease of opening the inhaler, changing canisters and cleaning the mouthpiece. To test the adhesive silicon patch I printed different versions in flexible PLA and then created silicon versions of the most successful pieces with the use of a degasser and pinkysil molds. Test subjects and myself wore each version for a few days to test for snag points, all day comfort, appearance and long-lasting adhesive ability.


How it is different

Respia is a world first smart inhaler and wearable device that connects with your smart phone app to help you manage your asthma.The aerosol inhaler has been redesigned to meet today’s asthmatic needs whilst keeping ease of use at the forefront. The use of smart technologies in a more ergonomic, aesthetic design is what sets Respia apart from what is currently available. The Respia inhaler reminds the user when it’s time for daily preventer medication which is great for people who forget to medicate. The smart phone app automatically records when, which and the quantity of medication taken each day. The first of its kind, Respia wearable device uses haptic feedback to alert the user when there are signs of inflammation and reliever medication is needed. The wearable patch makes the user aware if their asthma symptoms are worsening throughout the day via acoustic sensing. This takes the mental strain and guess work away allowing for good asthma management.


Future plans

Respia has received a lot of enthusiasm from people with asthma and with asthmatic family members. Respia has been praised by many industry and medical professionals and notable designers who would like to see the concept become a reality. I would like to see Respia lower the number of avoidable deaths and reduce asthma suffering by creating easier asthma management. So far, Respia has not received any funding as it is still in its early stages. Funding and support is the next step for Respia. The global asthma treatment market is predicted to grow to $21.7 US billion by 2020 and the time is now for better asthma management solutions.


Awards

Finalist in Young Australian Design Award 2016 Winner in Red Dot Design Concept Award 2016


End of main content. Return to top of main content.