A respiratory patient's COPD flare-up can have extremely detrimental effects, sometimes even leading to death. A California-based startup Samay announced a new wearable that detects such exacerbations early.
Dubbed Sylvee, the wearable is affixed to the patient's chest, where it tracks the patient's lungs' acoustic resonance while they go about their regular lives. The device is named after CEO Dr. Maria Artunduaga's grandmother, Sylvia, who died of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)complications.
Sylvee is connected wirelessly to a companion app on the user's tablet or smartphone, which analyzes the received signal using artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms.
“Our platform continuously captures pulmonary function data, including early COPD diagnostic biomarkers and predictors of exacerbations,” said Samay founder and CEO Maria Artunduaga.
Sylvee ‘injects’ noise into the lungs and then measures the sound produced. If there is air trapped in the lung, the sound it generates differs from the resonance of sound created when air is totally released from the lungs, similar to a thud on a drum. The key and early indication of respiratory deterioration is air trapping. The Sylvee app analyzes the results using DSP (digital signal processing) and AI, which pulmonologists and primary care physicians can assess, focusing on lung volume, capacity, flow rates, and trapped air, reports Innovation Village.
“Well-established science reveals that air trapping can be assessed with over 90% accuracy using low-frequency sound,” stated Dr. Artunduaga.“The acoustic resonance spectra of COPD patients and healthy controls show a significant difference. With over 100 million Americans suffering from COPD, COVID-19, and asthma, and an aging population, it can be lifesaving to remotely and properly monitor lung function and detect a problem early enough to prevent fatal repercussions. Our goal is to detect irregularities early, allowing patients to receive therapy at home sooner and empowering them to manage their own health.”
In a recent study, Sylvee detected air trapping by measuring differences in residual volume (RV) and total lung capacity (TLC) with 83%accuracy compared to pulmonary function tests (PFT) in hospital settings.