Scientists from the University of Washington have created SpiroCall , a tool that can evaluate human lung function during a normal phone call. The novelty will benefit people suffering from asthma, cystic fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases who cannot monitor the state of the respiratory system outside of hospitals. Also, the development will be useful for those who do not have a smartphone on which they could install the SpiroSmart application introduced in 2012 for the same purposes – according to the plan, the new project involves a fixed telephone network.
The developers noticed that only a microphone is used in SpiroSmart , this was the impetus for the creation of new items. A person calls a special number, blows into the receiver, and the collected audio information is transmitted for processing via a standard telephone channel. Multiple regression algorithms make it possible to accurately determine lung function without paying attention to poor sound quality. Complementing this is a 3D-printed whistle, combined with a tool to show patients what “good” analysis sounds like. The development helps critically ill patients produce sound loud enough to process.
The project is scheduled to be presented in May at the CHI 2016 conference of the Association for Computing Machinery. The results of the development are within 6.2% of clinical spirometers – therefore, the instrument meets medical standards of accuracy.

Comment: Scientists continue to amaze with more and more new tools for diagnosing lung diseases. Indeed, it is very convenient to make a phone call from anywhere in the world, blow into the phone and find out your diagnosis.

Ecology, asthma and vitamins

A group of researchers decided to find out whether air pollution affects the well-being of patients with COPD and bronchial asthma. The results of the work were interesting.
An increase in particulate matter per cubic meter (µg/m3) has been found to increase the risk of hospitalization for people with COPD and asthma by 40%. Interestingly, the most vulnerable were people with low levels of vitamin C, who had a risk of hospitalization 1.5 times higher than the rest. Based on these data, scientists note that antioxidants can reduce the harmful effects of polluted air on the body. Vitamin C is able to protect against harmful radicals that damage body cells. Once in the lungs, they can cause respiratory diseases and even lead to cancer.

Comment: Summer is coming, soon useful vitamins can be obtained directly from the garden. For example, 100 g of raspberries contain about 25 mg of vitamin C. And strawberries and strawberries contain even more – about 60 mg.