A wireless wearable sensor on a paper substrate was used to continuously monitor respiratory behavior that can extract and deliver clinically relevant respiratory parameters to a smartphone. Intended to be placed horizontally at the midpoint of the costal margin and the xiphoid process as determined through anatomical analysis and experimental test, the wearable sensor is compact at only 40 × 35 × 6 mm in size and 6.5 g weight including a 2.7 g lithium battery. The wearable sensor, consisting of an ultrasound emitter, an ultrasound receiver, wireless transmission system, and associated data acquisition, measures the linear change in circumference at the attachment location by recording and analyzing the changes in ultrasound pressure as the distance between the emitter and the receiver changes. Changes in ultrasound pressure corresponding to linear strain are converted to temporal lung volume data and are wirelessly transmitted to an associated custom-designed smartphone app. Processing the received data, the mobile app is able to display the temporal volume trace and the flow rate vs. volume loop graphs, which are standard plots used to analyze respiration. From the plots, the app is able to extract and display clinically relevant respiration parameters, including forced expiratory volume delivered in the first second of expiration (FEV) and forced vital capacity (FVC). The sensor was evaluated with eight volunteers, showing a mean difference of the FEV/FVC ratio as bounded by 0.00-4.25% when compared to the industry-standard spirometer results. By enabling continuous tracking of respiratory behavioral parameters, the wireless wearable sensor helps monitor the progression of chronic respiratory illnesses, including providing warnings to asthma patients and caregivers to pursue necessary medical assistance.
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