How Much Do You Know About Breathing? Smart Breathing Tracker ezOxygen Helps You Prevent Lung Ailments

18 Jan

As high-tech products evolve towards more compact sizes and wearable technology becomes increasingly mature, people will start taking multiple biometric measurements such as heart rate, steps, and sleep. Diabetic patients record their blood oxygen levels and people with high blood pressure monitor their blood pressure. Have you ever thought of tracking your respiratory condition?

Taiwanese startup Genius Holdings has developed the smart breathing tracker ezOxygen that adopts their proprietary ultrasonic technology to provide medical-grade accuracy in a compact device. Launched in September 2018, in Taiwan and the US, the product has already won the CES 2019 Innovation Award under the category of Fitness, Sports, and Biotech, which features other winners Garmin and Samsung for their smartwatches. Genius Holdings is definitely the pride of Taiwan with their ability to compete alongside international companies.

▲Smart breathing tracker ezOxygen won CES 2019 Innovation Award

 

Why Should We Keep Track of Our Breathing?

Most of the wearable devices have focused on measuring heart rate and ignored the importance of respiratory monitoring, says Duncan Chen, founder and CEO of Genius Holdings. He compares breathing to a car’s exhaust system. A car with a problematic exhaust pipe will not run smoothly, even with a high-performance engine. Our heart is like the engine of the car and the respiratory tract is its exhaust pipe. Therefore, breathing plays a key role in maintaining good health.

▲Duncan Chen, founder and CEO of Genius Holdings, says breathing data is important for maintaining good health and that is why the mobile app ezOxygen and its data have been integrated into Apple’s Health Kit.

 

For people suffering from asthma, respiratory tract problems, or lung diseases, tracking and monitoring breathing regularly is very important because they need to take medications immediately when they sense something is wrong. ezOxygen also tracks the effect of their medications to prevent acute asthma or respiratory irritation.

In today’s environment, as poor air quality constantly causes respiratory irritations, tracking breathing has become essential. Using the GPS function on a mobile phone, ezOxygen can track the PM2.5 level at the user’s current location. As air quality deteriorates, the device will remind the user to keep track of their breathing to ensure healthy breathing.

For athletes, understanding and increasing their lung capacity through tracking breathing help improve their performance. For example, using aerobic respiration in sports like marathons, swimming and yoga releases more energy, resulting in higher performance. However, the respiratory muscle gets tired. After exercising for a long time, the muscle will shift to anaerobic respiration, leading to a significant reduction in performance.

Breathing data is important in health records. This is why Apple has integrated support for the ezOxygen app and its data within Apple’s Health Kit. The integration suggests Apple has recognized the importance of breathing data in future medical records.

Patented Ultrasonic Technology Delivers Medical-grade Accuracy

Genius Holdings has not only targeted the niche segment of respiratory health in the wearable technology market but also adopted the exclusive patented technology in its breathing tracker.

More than 80% of respiratory trackers and pulmonary function testers measure expiratory flow rate using a turbine. When the user exhales, the device will calculate the flow rate based on the rotational speed and turbine time. However, due to inertia, the turbine will not stop rotating immediately after the user stops exhaling, resulting in low measurement accuracy, only to the second decimal place.

Instead of using turbines like other breathing trackers, ezOxygen utilizes ultrasonic technology. When the user exhales, the air travels inside the device and creates sound waves, which are received by a MEMS microphone at a velocity of more than 100,000 signals per second. The device then calculates the expiratory flow rate to the fourth decimal place, which is 1/10000th of one unit. This design not only solves the inertia problem seen in a turbine but also reduces the interference of environmental noises encountered by professional ultrasonic tracking systems.

Genius Holdings obtained patents for this technology in Taiwan and the US with patent applications filed in Japan, China, and other countries.

“We have changed the methods for tracking breathing. Our product not only beats other medical-grade technologies but is also suitable for home use”, says Duncan Chen. The company has invested three years and a considerable amount of money to develop ezOxygen.

Creating a Breathing Pattern Database and Facilitating Early Diagnosis of Lung Diseases with AI Analysis

Characterized by high accuracy, suitability for home use, mobile, and low cost, ezOxygen can continuously collect a large amount of breathing data and create a database of different respiratory problems using big data analytics. Besides standard breathing patterns based on gender, age, and height, the database also contains breathing patterns of patients with different lung diseases such as respiratory tract problems, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, pneumonia, and lung cancer.

The respiratory data recorded by the user can be compared to their historical records and matched with the data in the database using AI technology. In the future, the device will be able to provide diagnostic support, assist doctors with treatment, and recommend medications.

Genius Holdings is working with the Taipei Medical University to track the breathing of asthma patients before and after taking medications and the effect of the medications. In China where online medical consultation is permitted, some medical service providers have ordered ezOxygen and distributed it to their patients so they can send breathing data to doctors regularly. This enables the doctors to perform diagnosis and provide healthcare advice remotely.

Comprehensive Care for Consumers and Patients

The next step for Genius Holdings is to get FDA approval. ezOxygen is currently classified as a consumer electronics product but can be marketed as a medical-grade device after approval. Once the design, production, and manufacturing processes pass medical standards, the product can be used in medical applications and be eligible for healthcare subsidies provided by the government and insurance companies. Thus, widening the gap between ezOxygen and its competition.

Among the consumer electronics providers in the category of Fitness, Sports, and Biotech categories, Genius Holdings is one of the few companies that has developed breakthrough medical technologies and leveraged data analytics to make inroads into the medical market. This is because Genius Holdings’ employees come from various medical backgrounds including drug development, medical equipment, nursing, and medical laboratory science, making it a smart medical solution provider backed by professional technologies and domain knowledge with hardware and software integration capabilities.

Genius Holdings aims to take ezOxygen to the global market. By exhibiting at CES 2019, they are seeking US distributors to help them promote breathing awareness – keeping track and taking care of one’s health through monitoring respiratory conditions in addition to heart rate and steps.

▲Genius Holdings’ employees come from various medical backgrounds including drug development, medical equipment, nursing, and medical laboratory science

 

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