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Published on Apr 29, 2016
Most people in the developing world who have asthma, cystic fibrosis or other chronic lung diseases have no way to measure lung function outside of a clinic or doctor visit. But many do have access to a phone. With SpiroCall, a new health sensing tool developed by computer science and engineering and electrical engineering researchers at the University of Washington, patients can accurately measure lung function over a simple phone call—whether the latest app-driven smartphone, a 10-year-old flip phone, or even a communal village landline. SpiroCall is an extension of the UW’s SpiroSmart project, a smartphone app that measures lung function using the phone’s built-in microphone in place of a traditional spirometry machine. By developing a system that would enable users to record exhalation data using the built-in microphone on any phone from anywhere in the world, SpiroCall researchers are extending the potentially life-saving benefits of phone-based spirometry to many more patients in low-resource settings.