Respiration rate is a standard physiological measurement taken for monitoring a patient. Existing respiration monitors used in medical centers are unsuitable for low-resource environments. We have developed a low-cost respiratory monitor to address this issue. This device calculates a patient's breathing rate by detecting changes in temperature through a thermistor when the patient breathes into a mask. Features of the device include an alarm through a piezoelectric speaker which sounds when the patient stops breathing, and a low-battery indicator signal for when the battery powering the device dips below a threshold voltage. The design and implementation involved several different hardware components, as well as software functions. Our initial prototype of the project accomplished our main objectives, and experimental measurements indicate that the device measures a patient’s respiration rate with relative accuracy.
Presentation Abstract for 29th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference 2013 (docx)