Breath Controlled Computer Game Controller for Asthma Therapy
Award last edited on: 1/4/19

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code

Principal Investigator
Alan Ball

Company Information

A B I D Inc (AKA: Alan Ball industrial Design Inc~Alan Ball ID Inc~ A.B.I.D. Inc)

50 Francesca Avenue
Somerville, MA 02144
   (617) 718-9342
Location: Single
Congr. District: 07
County: Middlesex

Phase I

Contract Number: 1R43HL103370-01
Start Date: 6/1/10    Completed: 5/31/11
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
The volatility of respiratory symptoms due to asthma is related in large measure to the dynamic nature of airway obstruction in this disease. The ability to detect airway obstruction early respiratory interoception helps individuals with asthma to manage their symptoms, to decide when to take inhaled medications. Impaired respiratory interoception, conversely, commonly delays treatment and impedes clinicians decisions regarding inhaled medicine. We developed breath-controlled video games as a means of pulmonary rehabilitation for individuals with chronic lung disease. Our experience with this approach in patients with cystic fibrosis shows that adolescents not only enjoy using a spirometer (a device traditionally used to measure inspiratory and expiratory flow rates) as a video game controller when playing an eye breath coordination task but they also learn to improve breath awareness. This finding has encouraged us to apply the breath-controlled video game approach to the problem of impaired respiratory interoception in asthma. Here we propose to further develop hardware and software for breath-controlled videogames that will function as an adjunct to respiratory therapy in asthma as well as for other chronic respiratory diseases. Programming of breath-controlled video games will incorporate a breath biofeedback educational process that promotes breath awareness by presenting the player with modulated representations of their own breathing patterns (Breath Biofeedback System and Method, US Patent pending). We will design and prototype a breath-game controller modeled after digital spirometers used for clinical diagnosis. Hardware and software assets created through this project will be used in a field trial of the effect of breath- controlled video games may also favorably impact asthma-related quality of life, as well as technique in, and adherence to, self-administration of inhaled medications. By embedding explicit educational messages within breath-controlled games, we expect this approach to promote self-management and effective use of health care resources on several levels. This project will also provide a foundation for studies of breath-controlled video games for adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Public Health Relevance:
Mis-perception of asthma symptoms represents a common problem for millions of individuals who suffer this chronic respiratory condition. For unknown reasons, those with the most dangerous kind of asthma have the most difficulty with sensing the severity of their airway obstruction. In this project we develop technology for a novel, "breath-controlled video game" that will improve awareness of symptoms, and of respiratory wellness, in people with asthma.

Thesaurus Terms:
21+ Years Old; Adherence; Adherence (Attribute); Adolescent; Adolescent Youth; Adult; Airway Obstruction; Aspiration, Respiratory; Asthma; Awareness; Awarenesses; Biofeedback; Breathing; Bronchial Asthma; Cf Patients; Coad; Copd; Care, Health; Chronic; Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease; Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease; Chronic Lung Disease; Computer Programs; Computer Software; Computers; Devices; Disease; Disorder; Drugs; Eye; Eyeball; Foundations; Healthcare; Human, Adult; Individual; Inhalation; Inhaling; Inspiration, Respiratory; Learning; Legal Patent; Lung; Lung Diseases; Measures; Medication; Medicine; Methods; Methods And Techniques; Methods, Other; Modeling; Nature; Patents; Pattern; Perception; Pharmaceutic Preparations; Pharmaceutical Preparations; Physical Health Services / Rehabilitation; Play; Process; Programs (Pt); Programs [publication Type]; Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; Pulmonary Diseases; Pulmonary Disorder; Qol; Quality Of Life; Rehabilitation; Rehabilitation Therapy; Rehabilitation, Medical; Research Resources; Resources; Respiratory Disease; Respiratory Disorder; Respiratory System Disease; Respiratory System Disorder; Respiratory System, Lung; Respiratory Therapy; Science Of Medicine; Self Administration; Self Management; Severities; Software; Symptoms; System; System, Loinc Axis 4; Techniques; Technology; Video Games; Adult Human (21+); Asthma Mdi; Asthma Controller; Asthma Inhaler; Asthma Reliever; Clinical Diagnosis; Computer Program/Software; Cystic Fibrosis Patients; Design; Designing; Digital; Disease/Disorder; Drug/Agent; Experience; Improved; Inspiration; Juvenile; Juvenile Human; Lung Disorder; Novel; Patients With Cf; Patients With Cystic Fibrosis; Programs; Prototype; Public Health Relevance; Pulmonary; Rehabilitative; Rescue Inhaler; Respiratory

Phase II

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Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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