FloGlow: Low Cost Spirometer (UC Berkeley)

Team Members: Marisa Babb, Luke Stork

School: UC Berkeley

Developing countries have a dire need for measuring the respiratory health of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Spirometry is the gold standard in developed countries for diagnosing respiratory illnesses. However, spirometers are costly and require a reliable power supply, regular maintenance, and a computer for operation. All of these requirements are unmet by the environment of most developing countries. Project FloGlow: A Low-Cost Spirometer addresses this need by developing a spirometer specifically for low-resource clinics and solving key problems existing spirometers fail to address. FloGlow operates without the aid of a PC or smartphone, possesses on-board data storage and display, and allows simple and accurate calibration—all for less than $35. This device has the potential to reduce misdiagnosed cases and provides clinicians the ability to improve management of both the symptoms and the disease to reduce preventable morbidity and mortality.