While there's been no shortage of bad news to come out of the pandemic, there are some bright spots, and one of them is from Western Michigan University, where a professor has created a low-cost "spirometer", a necessary device for monitoring lung efficiency.

"I decided to put the skills I have toward making technology equipment accessible to small health care clinics." - Dr. Alesander Danna-dos-Santos, WMU

What's significant about Dr. Danna-dos-Santos' work is, his unit could sell for $150. Currently these little units sell for approximately $2000. The lower cost would benefit medical facilities in small towns. His goal is to make it widely available "for merely the price of parts, manufacturing and shipping so smaller clinics and rural areas in Michigan can have access to this technology".

WMU's Dr. Alesander Danna-dos-Santos working from home to design a low-cost spirometer. (Photo: Mark Bugnaski. Courtesy, Western Michigan University. Used by permission)

The next goal is to connect with a manufacturer, and then, wider distribution.

Danna-dos-Santos' spirometer measures 2-by-6 inches and includes durable, low-cost materials that are easily replaceable. He will be applying Institutional Review Board approval to initially test the device with Unified Clinics patients, and he hopes by December he'll have all the data he needs to apply for a patent. - WMU release

Danna-dos-Santos was the recipient of one of five University grants for COVID-19 response-related research, and has spent the summer working from his home with his own equipment to create the dedicated hardware and software.

His credentials are impressive, and his resume is filled with professional and academic training from multiple organizations and countries. In fact, in a release, WMU says Danna-dos-Santos has his own 3D printer and is a self-taught coder.

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