Researchers at the University of Surrey have 3D printed the world’s first “sneezometer”, which is an airflow sensor or so called spirometer that measures the speed of a sneeze.
Spirometers measure lung capacity in order to diagnose chronic and acute respiratory conditions such as asthma, obstructive sleep apnoea and hypopnoea. The ultra-sensitive sneezometer measures the flow of air through a patient’s lung twice as fast and more sensitive than other available devices.
Dr. Paul Nathan, co-inventor of the sneezometer said: “We have created a portable, highly sensitive and accurate spirometer that can catch the speed of a sneeze. What’s almost as impressive is that we created this innovative device using simple 3D printing technology, with all of the prototypes ‘printed’ around the internal electronics.”
Dr. David Birch of the University of Surrey’s Aerodynamics and Environmental Flow research Group added: “Breathing disorders are highly prevalent in the developed and developing world, with one in twelve people in the UK currently receiving treatment for asthma. The diagnosis and monitoring of respiratory diseases is key to proper treatment and we have now developed a simple, low-cost and non-intrusive diagnostic solution that will make doctors lives easier across the world.”
Currently, the sneezometer is being tested at Kings College Hospital ind London and could be in clinical service as soon as 2018.