A System for the Systematic Development of Respiratory Muscle Training

S.-F. Shen, K.-H. Chang, and J.-T. Horng (Taiwan)


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Complex Programmable Logic Device, Embedded Systems, Respiratory Muscle Training, Spirometer


The lack of availability of a home measurement device has resulted in the patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who use respiratory muscle training not being able to conveniently assess their pulmonary situation. Some studies have shown that the respiratory muscle training to have beneficial effects with such patients if an adequate training stimulus is applied. The users would like to know how much improvement has occurred after they train. In this study, a portable Spirometer is described, which is implemented by a complex programmable logic device (CPLD). This system is able to detect the turbine flow and then send an RS232 signal to a communications port. The system consists of three parts, which are the flow measurement sensor device, the CPLD hardware circuit signal generator and the dynamic flow display interface for the software. The first sensor uses a photo diode to obtain the fan’s rotational speed and calculate the flow volume. The signal generator counts the pulses and converts this into an RS232 signal data form that can be interpreted by a PC via a communications port. The display interface outputs the dynamic flow curve through a software interface. The device allows the user to obtain information on the pulmonary condition of their lungs. A future medical treatment trend is the use a PC-based internet links between the doctor and the patient that will allow diagnosis via video conferencing; it should be possible to combine the device described here with video conferencing, which will help the doctor assess the patient’s condition at a distance and help to achieve effective diagnosis. The system is also implemented as a data download system via a mobile phone using Bluetooth for Spirometer to mobile phone communication.

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