In this paper, feasibility of web based breathing exercises for respiratory rehabilitation is examined. A system included visual guidance in a web browser and a microphone equipped headset for biofeedback and interaction. Feasibility was assessed in a controlled environment on 34 subjects with anxiety disorders that were not offered any help from the personnel. Weak points of comprehensibility were identified as applying headset (21%) and adhering to breathing exercises instructions (7%). No adverse events were identified. Design flaws that correlated with poor user’s experience were 1) the unpleasant feelings induced by watching the computer screen (21%) and 2) ease/difficulty of physically applying headset (14%). We conclude that conducting breathing exercises by using an acoustic microphone and a web browser is feasible and should be further researched. Additionally we conclude that audio feedback might be more pleasant to some people. Further we conclude that BREATHING+ has some obvious advantages over alternative devices for respiratory rehabilitation, these are:


"Firstly blowing air into the mouthpiece does not require a physical contact with users’ mouth or lips, therefore it provides less possibilities for infection. Secondly using a microphone to assess the user’s breathing allows for greatest possible interoperability with other electronic devices that have audio input codecs already implemented, such as mobile phones, tablets and portable music players. It thus allows for low cost integration with various computer games and other multimedia content to improve user’s experience and improve motivation for conducting breathing exercises. Thirdly using a web browser to conduct breathing exercises allows for best possible supervision of exercise implementation and can be used in various telemedicine applications. Additionally the proposed technology provides one major advantage; user can be eventually taught to implement the exhalation through pursed lips into their daily routine and change their breathing behavior without raising their dependence on technology. Such a behavior can already be observed in humans, for example when a person exhales through pursed lips as a sign of relief. Some devices do not require a user to exhale against pressure, such as Resperate device (Intercure Ltd) [23-27] and so it has less benefits for COPD patients. NOTES: Leventon Barcelona was aquired by Werfen Corporation; Respironics Healthscan Inc. was aquired by Siemens Corporation"

Paper was published in Open Journal of Respiratory Diseases

Read the full paper here.