School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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27 Nov 2020

SPYRAS develops ‘Smart Mask’ to track wearer’s respiratory patterns

SPYRAS develops ‘Smart Mask’ to track wearer’s respiratory patterns

Founded by Product Design Engineering alumnus George Winfield, analytics platform SPYRAS has created a ‘Smart Mask’ that displays respiratory information in real time.

Using SPYRAS paper sensor technology, the mask aims to provide users with actionable information about their respiratory function in order to improve the user’s health and indicate abnormal breathing trends.

The sensor attaches to masks that allows users to track their respiratory performance in real time. Users can play games, follow breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and stress, and monitor their mask’s filter efficiency – all from their mobile phone. Cloud-based algorithms then look at the data, taking into account external factors, such as weather, pollen, and pollution, to analyse outside conditions that could affect users breathing.

Using humidity changes on inspiratory and expiratory air flow to detect conductivity changes of paper, the sensing technology provides a highly accurate, non-invasive and disposable sensor that can be placed directly into mask filters. When the filter needs to be replaced or the user wants to wash their mask, they will first be notified of the decrease in filter performance ahead of time. When changing or washing a mask, the electronics module can be detached to be reused later and the sensor is then disposed of to keep the mask sterile, with a replacement in its place.

SPYRAS was one of 800 business selected amongst 8,000 applicants for the Innovate UK “business-led innovation in response to global disruption” award, proposing a sensor that would fit into any mask and connect to a mobile app for users to visualise their respiratory function while they wear them. The devices were then tested at the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluations Centre (MD-TEC) at the University Hospitals Birmingham Trust to compare the product against ventilator standards of testing. Using a minute breathing rate average from the SPYRAS sensors against ventilator standards, the test showed SPYRAS was able to track breathing rate at a 99.5% accuracy.

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