WMU develops respiratory device for COVID-19 patients

KALAMZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A professor at Western Michigan University is developing a respiratory device that could be used by COVID-19 patients.

The device is called a spirometer and it measures lung efficiency in patients with breathing conditions.

Dr. Alessander Danna-dos-Santos has been working on creating the device at a fraction of the cost.

Spirometers can cost up to $2,000, which put them out of reach of many rural healthcare providers. Danna-dos-Santos is working to develop a device that would cost less than $50.

He received a grant related to COVID-19 research and used his own equipment at home to develop the device. He has also found low-cost parts and even makes some components with a 3D printer.

The project requires looking at every aspect of the spirometer.

“That entailed for us to construct the entire system, so going all the way from developing the hardware, developing the software, developing all the quantitative measures that goes with it,” Danna-dos-Santos said.

Danna-dos-Santos hopes to start formal testing of the device very soon. He also hopes to distribute the device widespread

This is just one of many projects he and his team are working on to make healthcare more affordable and accessible.