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New lung care app by Thai uni

Many people ask themselves constantly whether they have been infected with COVID-19 when they have symptoms such as a cough, fever and loss of smell. And in severe cases, coronavirus damages the lungs causing severe respiratory issues.

To help people test the health of their lungs easily, the Assoc Prof from the Computer Science Programme, Department of Mathematics, Chulalongkorn University, developed a new mobile application called Lung Care.

The professor created this inventive app because she has asthma. As a patient, whenever she saw a doctor, she had to blow into a Peak Flow Meter to measure how well air moved out of her lungs. The app is an alternative tool to test the strength of the lungs.

To use the app, start by taking a deep breath. Put your lips close to the microphone on the phone. Blow as hard as you can at the microphone three times. The result will be shown on-screen in three different levels — green (80% to 100% peak flow rate), yellow (50% to 80%) and red (less than 50%). After testing over 37 cycles, it was found that the app has 97.6% accuracy.

Though the app was developed for asthma patients, heavy smokers, people who work at construction sites and those who work in dusty environments are recommended to use the app. And during the Covid-19 pandemic, others can use it to test the strength of their lungs as well.

Other tech from CU

According to an earlier article by OpenGov Asia, Thai hospitals are deploying “ninja robots” to measure fevers and protect the health of overburdened medical workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.

First built to monitor recovering stroke patients, the machines have been quickly repurposed to help fight the disease, which has so far killed nearly 9,000 people around the world.

They have helped staff at four hospitals in and around Bangkok to reduce their risk of infection by allowing doctors and nurses to speak to patients over a video link.

They can stand outside the room and communicate with patients inside through the robot, an engineer from Chulalongkorn University said.

Later models will be designed to bring food and medicine to patients and could also eventually be used to disinfect hospital wards.

His engineering team is racing to build more “ninjas” – known as such because of their matte black exterior — for another 10 hospitals around the country.

Thailand has more than 200 confirmed COVID-19 infections, including at least one death. More than 40 have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Authorities recently ordered the closure of bars, massage parlours and entertainment venues to help prevent new cases.

New rules also require visitors entering the country to produce a health certificate.

Officials have so far stopped short of imposing the full lockdowns seen in other countries in a bid to contain damage to Thailand’s crucial tourism sector.

But the government’s reassurances that the pandemic is under control have not stopped bouts of panic buying in grocery stores.

Doctors are also urging Thais to stay home to curb the spread of the virus.

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