Wiley Publishing (New Jersey, U.S.) - Medical Journal Biomed Research International (Impact Factor = 2.6) has reported that "Breathing Games results were statistically significant and reliable for pulmonary function assessment and it will therefore be useful during rehabilitation to improve pulmonary function and clinical monitoring in stroke patients." The study compared results of Breathing Games to results of FEV1 function assessment which is a standard diagnostic method in pulmonary function assessment.
Benchmarking BREATHING+ with FEV1 standard pulmonary function assessment
Breathing+ was the game application used for the evaluation. (Figure 1) This game application consists of 14 different games, all designed to guide the participants to maximum inspiration and expiration through a headset. A smartphone was placed on the table, and the participant sat in a wheelchair or chair. An adjustable table was used to enable participants comfortably see the smartphone. Participants selected and played the games they were familiar with. The game result showed the longest exhalation period, and the average exhalation period in real time by measuring air pressure as detected through the headset. We converted and used the average real-time values for comparison.
Researchers envision a promising new use for BREATHING+
Citation: "Technological advances in the medical field have facilitated transition from bulky time-consuming devices to portable time-saving on such as smartphone that run application like Breathing+ The portable modern devices play an important, albeit indirect role in pulmonary function rehabilitation by measuring physiological effort."
Why has this not been tried by Breathing Labs before?
We @breathinglabs have always focused on clinical efficiency, effectiveness, and efficacy of our product BREATHING+ however we have never observed nor claimed its diagnostic value because we thought that it is just too difficult to prove and too disruptive for current medical "status quo". We reasoned that because classical spirometry tests such as FVC, FEV, and FEV1 do not allow for much variation in their execution that those provide a more reliable way to diagnose and assess pulmonary function. Exercises on the other hand introduce variability in terms of variable amount of effort and a kind of technique used in implementation of breathing exercises, which introduces variability in results hence lowering significance of results. We are very happy to see these results and we are waiting for more researchers to replicate the experiment and provide more insight into this matter.
FEV1 test is reliable in diagnostics but not helpful to patient
In FEV1 test a subject is required to hold a big tube inside mouth making their mouth widely open leading to a narrowing of airways due to lower inside airway pressure. In PLB exercise however mouth is closed and by pursing lips a subject is creating obstruction which creates positive pressure inside airways that keeps airways open longer and allows more air to be released with each breath. This phenomena has been very well documented in medical literature as a "pursed lip breathing" technique, commonly recommended as an exercise, but however it has never before been tried as a diagnostic application. Read what leading health organisations think about Pursed Lip Breathing in our white paper: www.breathinglabs.com/breathing-labs-white-paper/
A diagnostic/exercise combo is perfect for home use and telemedicine applications
Diagnostic devices have been tried in home environment as a telemedicine application a lot of times but have failed to produce positive clinical outcomes only providing improvements in monitoring of patients and better on-time hospitalization when hospitalization was required. By combining an exercise with a diagnostic method the patients get exactly what they need: a homework, an exercise, and a diagnostic method that they can actually work on to improve results, and essentially to improve their lung function. Measuring something that you can change is more engaging than measuring something that you cannot change.
Dr Matevz Leskovsek, PhD
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