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Outside the Lab Clinical care, Technology and innovation, Point of care testing

Respiration Inspiration

David Birch, Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Surrey, UK and one of the Sneezometer’s creators, seems to think so. He tells us more.

Who?

The University of Surrey Centre for Aerodynamics and Environmental Flow has a reputation for building new instruments to measure things nobody has measured before. This time, it’s a special high-sensitivity spirometer known as a “sneezometer” (1). It was initially developed to address a tricky flow-measurement problem in aerodynamics, but a chance discussion with a health professional revealed the potential for the idea in medical care. At that point, Paul Nathan and I, along with our team, created an operational prototype in just three weeks! This project arose from Surrey’s specialized expertise in wind tunnel measurement and is a great example of how fundamental research can sometimes result in incredibly beneficial technologies in an entirely unpredictable way. In this case, a simple tool developed for fundamental turbulence research has evolved into a medical instrument that could reduce costs for healthcare providers and affect the lives of millions of people suffering from chronic health conditions.

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About the Author

Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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