Objective pulmonary function (PF) evaluation is essential for the diagnosis, monitoring, and management of many pediatric respiratory diseases as seen in the emergency room, intensive care, and outpatient settings. In this paper, the development and testing of a new noninvasive PF instrument, pneuRIPTM, which utilizes respiratory inductance plethysmography (RIP) are discussed. The pneuRIPTM hardware includes a small circuit board that connects to the RIP bands and measures and wirelessly transmits the band inductance data to any designated wirelessly connected tablet. The software provides indices of respiratory work presented instantaneously in a user-friendly graphical user interface on the tablet. The system was tested with ten normal children and compared with an existing system, Respitrace (Sensormedics, Yorba Linda, CA), under normal and loaded breathing conditions. Under normal breathing, the percentage differences between the two systems were 2.9% for labored breathing index (LBI), 31.8% for phase angle (Φ), 4.8% for percentage rib cage (RC%), and 26.7% for respiratory rate (BPM). Under loaded breathing, the percentage differences between the two systems were 1.6% for LBI, 4.1% for Φ, 8.5% for RC%, and 52.7% for BPM. For LBI, Φ, and RC%, the two systems were in general agreement. For BPM the pneuRIPTM is shown to be more accurate than the respitrace when compared to manually counting the breaths: 13.2% versus 36.4% accuracy for normal breathing and 16.9% versus 60.7% accuracy for breathing under load, respectively.

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