The innovative Boreas pulmonary rehabilitation system is the work of a team of young scientists associated with the Warsaw University of Technology and the Wrocław University of Science and Technology. The invention is intended to help lung patients.
The Warsaw University of Technology announced the success of scientists from the team called pd meds on its website, as the device for pulmonary rehabilitation won the national stage of the international technology competition organized by the James Dyson Foundation*. The innovative system is intended to support people with lung diseases.
How does the pulmonary rehabilitation system work?
Respiratory failure is a life-threatening condition and accompanies many diseases – emphasize the authors of the idea. As a result of various types of infections, post-operative conditions, cancers or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), patients often have difficulty catching their breath, which may lead to tissue hypoxia and even death. Young scientists have come up with a solution that will help both patients and the doctors and rehabilitators caring for them.
The system called Boreas is equipped with a microcomputer that controls the difficulty of the exercises, collects data and visualizes the patient how to properly perform breathing exercises. It also has replaceable parts – a sterile filter and an inlet tube, so it can be used by many patients. During exercises, the patient’s task is to create enough pressure to open a special internal breathing channel and then follow the natural breathing rhythm with changing flow restrictions. After the session, the data is automatically sent to the attending physician, who can compare the data with the patient’s previous results. The next exercise session is generated by the device automatically.
To make the project even more attractive for the patient, the researchers decided to use a game theme combined with the application.
A loved one’s lung disease is an inspiration for scientists
Pd meds, the informal start-up behind Boreas, is composed of Piotr Falkowski (leader, PhD student from the Warsaw University of Technology, expert in the field of automation in rehabilitation), Maciej Pikuliński (PhD student from the Warsaw University of Technology and expert in the field of control algorithms, responsible for the project for software), Bazyli Leczkowski (student of the Warsaw University of Technology and expert in the area of rapid prototyping, responsible for hardware) and Anna Pastor (graduate of the Wrocław University of Science and Technology and expert in user-oriented design, responsible for contacts with potential users).
As scientists emphasize, the idea for Boreas is directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. A loved one of one of the team members was struggling with the consequences of COVID-19. At that time, the team, attending a medical fair, came up with the idea of creating a modern and effective device that would help people struggling with lung problems.
– More than 70 million people around the world struggle with various types of respiratory diseases. Every day they fight for normal functioning and calm breathing. Solutions are needed that will improve the quality of life of these people. Unfortunately, access to pulmonary physiotherapists is limited for many reasons, and systematic exercises could bring relief to this group of patients, says Piotr Falkowski.
*The James Dyson Award encourages young engineers to put their knowledge into practice and find new ways to improve our lives through technology. The competition is held in Poland for the third time.