The smartphone has given rise to countless new ways to monitor our health. Whether its testing one's eyesight, monitoring our mood swings or getting a feel for our fitness, there are a growing number of devices and apps to help keep tabs on our wellbeing. SandPiper is the latest in a line of smartphone-centric health solutions and is designed as a cheaper alternative to conventional lung monitoring devices.

SandPiper is designed as a simplified and affordable spirometer, a machine used to monitor airflow through the lungs. After plugging it into the headphone jack on either an Android or iOS device, the user blows into one end of the unit. A sensor inside generates electricity proportional to the velocity of air passing through it and measures the volume of air moving through the tube, relaying this information to the companion app. SandPiper can then gauge particular air flow parameters, such as lung capacity, how fast your lungs are exhaling and inhaling, how much air can be exhaled in one second and limitations in airflow.

To gather such information about our lungs generally requires more complicated machines costing thousands of dollars. We have previously seen apps to make lung monitoring more accessible and affordable, such as SpiroSmart which detects breath resonance in the trachea and vocal tract to ascertain the level of the air flow. These efforts are aimed at those with respiratory ailments, typically forced to either buy expensive machines for the home or make frequent trips to the doctor.

South Jersey Engineering and Research (SERJ), the company behind SandPiper's development, has taken to Indiegogo to raise funds for production. Pledges of US$55 will put you in line for one of the lung monitors, with shipping slated for December 2014 if all goes to plan.

You can hear from the team in the pitch video below.

Source: South Jersey Engineering and Research