SandPiper turns your smartphone into a lung monitor


July 7, 2014

SandPiper is designed as a cheaper alternative to the spirometer, a device that allows those with respiratory ailments to monitor the health of their lungs

SandPiper is designed as a cheaper alternative to the spirometer, a device that allows those with respiratory ailments to monitor the health of their lungs

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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

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches. All articles by Nick Lavars
1 Comment

This is a fantastic idea/product. I think the market should be huge. Awesome potential benefits for everyday fitness enthusiasts, especially the over 40 bunch. Lung performance is a major indicator of life expectancy and health level. But these benefits are only slowly penetrating into the general population. I guess the concepts have been cloaked by the expense and concentration of knowledge in the medical community. Hope this really takes off. Willis

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